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West Valley Focus

CALABASAS : Reserve Deputy Breaks the Age Barrier

September 01, 1993|SONDRA FARRELL BAZROD

Stan Weisleder of Calabasas could be compared to a real life Clark Kent, mild-mannered at work, daring defender of the oppressed when in uniform. He might not don a Superman cape, but a good luck Dick Tracy T-shirt, bulletproof vest, gun and raid jacket serve him just as well.

A reservist in the child abuse detail of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, Weisleder, now 59, earned his uniform three years ago, the oldest person ever to have graduated from the department's training academy.

Most days, Weisleder toils in one of the least glamorous professions around. As President of Actuaries Unlimited Inc., he pores over figures, creating and maintaining pension plans, and certifying clients' tax deductions.

"About one-third of my clients are a who's who of Hollywood," he says. "But many don't know I exist."

But one day a week he protects the peace.

It was a long time coming.

"I've wanted to be a cop ever since I was 5 years old in Brooklyn," he confessed, but thought he was too short.

Finally, after a successful actuarial career, he summoned up his courage and inquired about reserve positions with the Los Angeles Police Department. They told him that he was too old and referred him to the Sheriff's Department.

"The physical aptitude test nearly killed me," he said. "I was in such bad shape."

But Weisleder was determined to succeed. He showed up at his gym at 6 a.m., six days a week, working out for two hours. Five months later, he'd lost 25 pounds and had lowered his blood pressure.

And after trying and failing three times, he finally made it. He had to do 50 pushups, scale a 6-foot wall and a cyclone fence twice, and drag a 185-pound dummy 25 feet.

Then came training.

"Once I was in, it was 20 weeks of hell because I was the oldest one," he says. "The next youngest was 25 years younger and he had been a Marine gunnery sergeant."

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