Lorenzo Glenn always knew what he would be when he grew up.
As a child, Glenn got amped up watching TV shows such as “Adam 12” and “Starsky & Hutch” and there was never a doubt he would pursue law enforcement as a career.
Meanwhile, Glenn’s older brother, Tariq Ahmad, navigated a few more curves along his career path before finding his niche.
Now here they are, both with careers in public safety, and both in Anaheim.
Glenn, 49, has been a policer officer for 26 years, the past 24 with the Anaheim Police Department and Ahmad, 53, has been with Anaheim Fire & Rescue for 22 years.
So you’re thinking: Brothers. One is a cop. One is a fire-fighter. Same city.
Rivalry must be intense, right?
“Not really,” Ahmad said. “We joke about it.”
Growing up, Glenn saw his older brother as a role model.
“But all that changed when he went to become a firefighter,” Glenn says teasingly.
Actually, it’s more accurate to say they see each other as role models.
“He’s probably the closest person of my siblings that I can confide in and talk to,” Glenn said of Ahmad.
You also may be wondering why the brothers have different last names.
More on that later.
With an older sister and brother in between, Ahmad and Lorenzo grew up on military bases, first at Camp Pendleton in Oceanside and then the Marine base at El Toro.
Their dad was often deployed, including a tour in Okinawa for two years, or traveling to the Marine base in Quantico, Va.
“There were certain times when he just wasn’t there and we’d always lean on each other and look after each other,” Ahmad said.
The brothers were 8 and 12, respectively, when their parents divorced. So not only were the brothers there for each other, but for their mother as well.
“I don’t care what the situation was, they help me, even when they were small,” said their mom, Kiyoko Johnson.
Through the challenges, Glenn never lost focus.
“He always knew what he wanted to do,” Ahmad said. “He never let distractions get in the way.”
Sports was a passion for both brothers.
They excelled in football at Fullerton College and earned Division I scholarships, Ahmad at the University of Oklahoma, and Lorenzo at the University of Montana.
Ahmad was part of the Hornets’ 1983 national championship team and Sooners’ national championship squad of 1985.
Around the same time, Glenn entered the police academy. Ahmad, who had been studying Islam, changed his name from Ledell Glenn to Tariq Ahmad.
“One of the first people I went to talk to about it was him (Lorenzo),” Ahmad said. “I didn’t really know what his reaction was going to be. I talked to him as far as the reasons why and ran couple of names by him.”
Of course, Glenn was supportive.
While Glenn was getting started with the Anaheim PD, Ahmad spent some time in the Los Angeles Rams’ training camp.
He did some coaching and went into construction.
An acquaintance who was a firefighter convinced Ahmad to pursue that career himself.
“I was always into team sports and that whole concept just resonated with me,” said Ahmad, who went on to join his brother in public safety.
Glenn has worked in nearly all areas of policing – gangs, narcotics, internal affairs, auto theft, tourist-oriented policing and his current assignment, traffic.
Ahmad helped organize Anaheim Fire & Rescue’s urban search and rescue program.
Family life keeps both men busy so they don’t connect as often as they might like.
“We get together a couple of times a year as a family,” Ahmad said. “Every once in a while, we will see each other on calls.”
The brothers were asked if there was any single event or life experience that has made them closer.
“I can’t point out a defining moment because we’ve always had that bond and always will,” Ahmad said.