Culver City News
March 11, 2010
by Scott Tittrington
Fleeger ready to make mark as new ASO
Glorified dog catcher? No thanks.
The opportunity to use her background and work experience to help Culver City remain a pet-friendly haven? That was much more to Corolla Fleeger's liking.
Such was the reason behind Fleeger's decision to apply for the open position of Animal Service Officer with the Culver City Police Department, a job she officially started last week after her selection from a pool of approximately 350 candidates.
Fleeger, 34, marked her first day on the calendar March 1, and after little more than a week of training centered on the department's philosophies and procedures, hit the local streets ready for action Tuesday, March 8.
"I think this city is amazing. I love the people I've been around," said Fleeger, taking a break from her first day in the field to discuss her new role. "There's a lot more unity here than I'm used to. I'm hoping to fit in pretty well and adapt to what's required here."
Fleeger comes to Culver City fresh off a 3 1/2-year stint with Orange County Animal Care, a massive organization responsible for more than 100 municipalities. The sheer numbers involved with the organization coupled with the ongoing California budget crisis and its resultant cuts left little time for customer service and follow-up, two parts of the job Fleeger most enjoyed.
So when Culver City's two-year pilot program suddenly had an opening after just a little more than six months of existence - created by the departure of former Animal Services Officer Stephanie Yarbro - Fleeger jumped at the chance.
"This program when it opened up was very much focused on customer service," Fleeger said. "Also a pilot program that's new, being able to influence it with some of my past experience, is just an opportunity that I needed to take up."
Fleeger will work alongside Sgt. Mike Webb, who oversees the pilot program and was also part of the in-house interview team that selected Fleeger from a crowded field of applicants.
"She had both experience and education, and a huge resume," Webb said. "Since we only have one officer for the city, that officer has to be everything. And frankly, she has greater experience that we as police officers do dealing with animal control issues."
As an animal services officer, Fleeger is a civilian employee member of the police department, and is authorized to issue citations and make arrests in regards to animal service issues. Her schedule will be from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, with Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care and Control on call in her absence.
"A lot of it's going to be education. There's going to be some enforcement," said Fleeger, making it clear where her preference lies.
"I think that when you know that the residents are animal lovers ... it's a mutual understanding of how we address animals. It's a lot more enjoyable to work with that."