Bernard K. Melekian
Bernard K. Melekian, CSUN Class of 1980 and 1994, was appointed Director of the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) for the Department of Justice in October 2009. Prior to his appointment, Melekian served as the Police Chief for the City of Pasadena since 1996. He previously 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 in 2008.
While working nights as a Santa Monica City police officer, Melekian attended classes at CSUN by day, earning his Bachelor’s degree in History. He went on to earn his MPA at CSUN, and is currently a Doctoral candidate in Public Policy at USC. 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 valedictorian.
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.
In addition to his many awards, Melekian is a national spokesperson involving issues affecting the mentally ill; he 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.
Melekian served in the United States Army from 1967 to 1970. A member of the United States Coast Guard Reserve since 1984, he was called to active duty in 1991 during Operation Desert Storm and served overseas. Melekian served a second tour of active duty in February, 2003 when he served for eight months with the Coast Guard’s Marine Safety and Security Team, in the Pacific area. He recently retired from the Coast Guard Reserves.