Police Memorial Month
The month of May is recognized as Police Memorial Month. During this period, we take the time to honor those who’ve made the ultimate sacrifice to our profession and those who we’ve lost while serving in the Military.
To date, 204 Los Angeles Police Department officers have died in the line of duty; 53 have passed during my time as a police officer. Many of those who have passed are friends, all of them are family. It is important that we honor them through our remembrance.
Police officers are asked to do extraordinary things. Police officers are asked to risk their lives for those that they don’t know, and for their law enforcement brothers and sisters. That risk is only worthwhile if we honor them. Take time to visit the Los Angeles Police Department’s Memorial To Fallen Officers, and recognize those who have given so much for so many.
On Thursday, May 3rd, we will host our annual Police Memorial Ceremony at the Ronald F. Deaton Auditorium at the Police Administration Building. This event will feature a reading of the names of the fallen officers, as an airship performs a fly over. Many of the family members of those who have been killed in the line of duty are scheduled to attend. This is an excellent opportunity for those of us who have survived to show our recognition for these fallen heroes. It is only through honoring them that their sacrifices are repaid.
During the month of May, let us show our support and pay homage for those who have died in the line of duty by wearing the mourning band on your badge. Please do so with pride and in tribute to our fallen comrades.
Above & Beyond
For the first time ever, the Medal of Valor and the Purple Heart Ceremonies will be combined at this year’s Above & Beyond, Medal of Valor and Purple Heart Ceremony. The event is scheduled for May 10th, at the Grand Ballroom of the Hollywood and Highland Center. This is a great event that honors our heroes; those who have sacrificed so much, who have performed so brilliantly and have made our profession proud. This year’s 15 recipients will etch their names in the history books alongside those who have displayed courage and embodied the heroism of the Los Angeles Police Department.
United States Police and Fire Championships
This year’s United States Police and Fire Championships will take place June 16th – 24th, in San Diego, California. Approximately 10,000 police and firefighters will attend and participate in everything from badminton to bowling, motocross to softball, and basketball. This is a great way to show your pride in the Los Angeles Police Department, and pride in your own athletic accomplishments. I look forward to seeing many of you at the various sporting venues.
History of Hollenbeck
In 1927, Hollenbeck Station was named in honor of Mr. John Edward Hollenbeck and family. Mr. Hollenbeck was an influential businessman who purchased approximately 6,700 acres of land on the east side of the Los Angeles River and established a variety of businesses in the area. Hollenbeck Park, located on the corner of Saint Louis and Fourth Street, was erected from land donated to the City by Mr. Hollenbeck.
Hollenbeck’s Fallen Heroes
Police Officer Steven Gajda, Serial No. 27686, was shot when he stopped to investigate a loud party on December 31, 1997. Officer Gajda died from his injuries on January 1, 1998.
Police Officer Jerry Maddox, Serial No. 14317, was shot and killed when he stopped to investigate a loud party on August 19, 1969.
Significant Hollenbeck Events
-Joseph Wambaugh, author of the The New Centurions and the Onion Field, retired from Hollenbeck Station.
-Kathleen Soliah (A.K.A. Sarah Jane Olson) placed a pipe bomb under a Hollenbeck detective’s vehicle in August 1975. The device did not detonate.
-Officers assigned to the Hollenbeck Station arrested Richard Ramirez, the infamous “Night Stalker” in 1985.
-On October 16, 2010, to honor Rudy de Leon, the first Mexican American and Latino to hold the position of Captain at Hollenbeck, the station was retitled the “Rudy de Leon / Hollenbeck Community Police Station.”
The things I speak of today; The Medal of Valor and Purple Heart, deaths in the line of duty, all these things transcend the financial burdens that are set upon us by the city’s economic issues. It’s been a tough couple of years, with the financial picture not looking any better in the coming year. As a result of these hurdles, the city will continue its struggle to meet the goals of public safety; but I have absolute faith in the men and women of the LAPD.
What I ask of you is simple; at the start of each shift always remember to do the right thing. Whether it’s in your private or professional life, always make the best decision based on your training and experience, your morals and your heart.