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On October 5th, 2009, Attorney General Eric Holder announced Bernard K. Melekian as the newly appointed Director of the COPS Office.

Bernard K. Melekian served as the Police Chief for the city of Pasadena since April 30, 1996. Prior to his appointment as Chief of Pasadena, he served with the Santa Monica Police Department for 23 years where he was awarded the Medal of Valor in 1978 and the Medal of Courage in 1980. In addition, he was appointed as the acting Fire Chief for Pasadena for 6 months in 1998 and served as the Interim City Manager from January to September 2008.

A national spokesperson involving issues affecting the mentally ill, Chief Melekian testified in September, 2000 before the House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary in Washington, D.C. He also served on the National Criminal Justice/Mental Health Consortium in 2002.

Chief Melekian is currently the President of the California Police Chiefs' Association. He served as the President of the Los Angeles County Police Chiefs' Association from January 1, 2000 to December 31, 2001. He served on the National Board of Directors for the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) from 2002 until 2006. He is also a senior advisor for the Police Assessment Resource Center in Los Angeles.

Chief Melekian served as Chair of the California Attorney General's Blue Ribbon Committee on SWAT Policy from 2000-2002. He authored the final report from that Commission. He was also selected by Los Angeles Chief of Police William Bratton to serve on a blue-ribbon panel to assess SWAT operations with the LAPD.

Chief Melekian has been the recipient of numerous leadership and service awards, including the Anne B. Kennedy Award from the Pasadena Mental Health Association, the Salvation Army "Others"; Award, and The Excellence in Leadership Award from Leadership Pasadena. In January 2005, he received the Lewis Hine Award for Service to Youth from the National Child Labor Committee and in May, 2007 was awarded the Sherman Block Leadership Award from the California Peace Officers' Association. He is currently a member of the Board of Directors for the National Child Labor Committee.

Chief Melekian holds a Bachelor's degree in American History and a Master's degree in Public Administration, both from California State University, Northridge. He is a graduate of the 150th session of the FBI National Academy and the 20th class of the California Command College, where he was selected as Class Speaker. He is currently a Doctoral candidate in Public Policy at the University of Southern California.

Chief Melekian served in the United States Army from 1967 to 1970. As a member of the United States Coast Guard Reserve, he was called to active duty in 1991 during Operation Desert Storm and served in Saudi Arabia. Chief Melekian served a second tour of active duty in 2003 when he served for eight months with the Coast Guard's Marine Safety and Security Team, in the Pacific area. He retired from the Coast Guard Reserves in 2009, after 26 years of service.



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