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Memorial Foundation Scholarship

Wednesday May 27, 2009 - In a small ceremony at the Elysian Park Police Academy Rock Garden, the Los Angeles Police Memorial Foundation (LAPMF) held its annual 2009 Merit- Based College Scholarship Awards.  The LAPMF awarded six college-bound dependents of LAPD employees with a $5,000 scholarship that is renewed for three additional years.

Memorial%20Foundation%20Scholarship%20004[1] “We are very happy to be a part of your future”, said Al Atkins, Executive Director of the LAPMF.  “It’s our 10th year doing this.  The Los Angeles Police Memorial Foundation has granted more than $900,000 to talented young people.  The scholarship is based on academic accomplishments and extracurricular activities.”

The proud students were reminded of the special connection they now share with the fallen officers of the Los Angeles Police Department.  “The money we have is for our fallen heroes, to take care of them and their families in time of need”, said Joe Connolly, Los Angeles Police Memorial Foundation Director and Chairperson of the Scholarship Committee.  “We don’t do anything without thinking of them.  Starting today, this is your connection with them.”

This year the selection committee received 76 applications, which they narrowed down to 19 finalists and 8 semi-finalists.  Finalists had a grade point average between 4.2 and 4.8, and had significant accomplishments, inside and outside the classroom.

The 2009 Merit-Based College Scholarship recipients are:

John Downey, son of Police Officer II John Downey.  John was scholastically ranked 12th of 661 seniors, and has been accepted at UCLA.  He has been involved with the California Scholarship Federation, promoting academic success, while leading his football team in practices, off-season training and games, as their Captain.  He has numerous awards in football, such as MVP in 2006, Most Outstanding Linebacker in 2007, Defensive MVP in 2009, all while maintaining academic excellence as a CSF Lifetime Member.

Michael Edwards, son of Police Officer III Wayne Edwards, formerly a professional major league pitcher for the Chicago White Sox.  Michael will be attending Cal Tech.  Michael has been an Academic Letter Holder and California Scholarship Federation Member for seven semesters, while maintaining a 4.0 GPA, ending his high school career with a 4.57 GPA.

Gregory Kurzhals, son of Sergeant II Kevin Kurzhals.  Gregory is ranked 2 out of 527 seniors and will attend the University of Pennsylvania.  He is a College Board National AP Scholar, based on his receipt of a 5 on eight Advanced Placement tests and has a GPA of 4.8.  Gregory has been awarded the National Merit Scholarship Finalist in 2009 and has been involved in the California Scholarship Federation, the Hart Academic Team and as a delegate for the American Legion California Boys.  He also scored a perfect 800 on the history portion of the SAT’s.

Tiana Moore is the daughter of Management Analyst II Anita Shorten-Moore.  Tiana will be attending Stanford University where she plans to major in Political Science.  She has been involved with community service in feeding the homeless at a local church in Washington D.C., where she was a political page.  She also actively campaigned for Barack Obama in the San Fernando Valley, which produced a passion for politics and an interest in pursuing public service.  Tiana won awards as an AP Scholar, was on the Principal’s Honor List and a member of the California Scholarship Federation.  She graduated with a 4.277 GPA.

Luke Peters is the son of Captain Jon Peters.  Luke is realizing his dream and will be attending the University of Notre Dame.  He scored a perfect score of 800 on the written portion of the SAT’s, and graduated with a 4.8 GPA.  Luke has received numerous academic awards, such as the National Merit Scholar Program Letter of Commendation, the AP Scholar with Distinction, the President’s Award for Educational Achievement and the Viking Valor Award.  He has also worked with several worthwhile organizations such as the Key Club, the Circle of Friends, Science Olympiad and Safe School Ambassadors.

Jordan Willis is the daughter of Detective III James Willis.  She plans to attend the University of California at Berkeley.  Jordan was ranked 4 out of 273 in her class, has a GPA of 4.128, and has a strong record of community service.  She has won awards for Outstanding Achievement in the French Language and was named Senior Class Student Most Likely To Succeed.  Jordan is also a member of the California Scholastic Federation and the Big Brothers/ Big Sisters Club.  While maintaining her busy school responsibilities, Jordan has tutored other students in Chemistry and German.


Chief’s Message – May 2009

We Will Never Forget
To protect and to serve does not come without its sacrifices – the sacrifice of time away from loved ones, the sacrifice our families make, and for a valiant few, the ultimate sacrifice made while in the line of duty.  We all know far too well the dangers of our profession and the bravery and dedication with which we wear the LAPD badge.  Each May, during National Police Officer Memorial Month, we pay tribute to those courageous officers who with their own lives defended the badge and upheld their commitment to the freedoms our democracy provides and police officers protect.   In return, we pledge to them and their families that we will never forget them, their sacrifices, and those that they leave behind.  

Over the course of the Los Angeles Police Department's one hundred and forty year history, 202 officers have given their lives in the line of duty.  In celebrating our Department's 140th anniversary, we cannot forget the heroic tales of our fallen colleagues.  From the very first fallen LAPD Officer in 1907 with Policeman Clyde A. May to Officer Randal Simmons the very first LAPD SWAT officer to die in combat, their sacrifice does not go in vain and each will continue to live on in LAPD history.    

Although a year later, the City continues to feel the loss of our much- loved Officer Randy Simmons.  A true community legend, Officer Simmons epitomized the very best of the LAPD.  As Randy's legacy is burnt in the hearts of the hundreds of children he mentored and thousands of lives which he touched, so will his name be forever etched in the memorial wall in Washington, D.C. this May as he is honored for his sacrifice.

Sadly, last year also did not go without another loss.  Most recently, we lost Officer Spree Desha whose life was cut short in the tragic Metrolink crash of September 2008.  Her body was found among the wreckage, and she was still wearing her badge, bent but unbroken.  Officer Desha was an exceptional officer, receiving 34 commendations during her seven years of service.  Her love for her family and Department was only matched by her devotion to the communities which she so proudly served.

Please join the Department in honoring these fine men and women at the LAPD Annual Memorial Ceremony which will be held on Monday, May 4 at 10:00 a.m. on the Elysian Park Field.  This year, Officer Spree Desha will be inducted as the 202nd LAPD officer to die in the line of duty.  A presentation will be made to the family of Officer Desha and the names of all 202 fallen officers will be read.   Show your support by joining us in commemorating these courageous officers. 

The memory of our fallen officers will also carry on in the new LAPD Officers' Memorial at the site of the new Police Administration Building.  Designed by the Gensler Architecture Firm, the magnificent memorial wall is made of individual brass plaques etched with the LAPD Badge and the names of the officers.  The wall will be placed in the memorial garden area where a reflective space will allow family and friends to remember the officers who have given their lives in service to the City of Los Angeles.  All of the members of the design team at Gensler generously donated their time and expertise in developing the new memorial.

As we take this opportunity to pay tribute to our officers who have given their lives in the line of duty, it is only appropriate during this time of remembrance, we also keep in our hearts and prayers our fellow colleagues, both sworn and civilian, who we have lost over the past year.

Peter Courtney Sinclair
Police Officer II
Personnel Division
End of Watch: 6/12/08

Dorothy E. Gist             
Principal Clerk Police II
Records and Identification Division
End of Watch – 6/14/08

Arthur H. Aspiras         
Senior Clerk Typist
Training Division 
End of Watch – 8/8/08

Spree DeSha                  
Police Officer III
Office of Operations
End of Watch – 9/12/08

Ernesto R. Haro             
Police Officer III
Hollywood Area
End of Watch – 9/29/08

Richard Mathias            
Police Officer III
Southeast Area  
End of Watch – 10/24/08

Grace Bradbury
Volunteer
Harbor Area
End of Watch – 11/11/08

Gregory Allen Ortiz
Police Officer II
Professional Standards Bureau
End of Watch – 12/31/08

Ruben Baca
Police Officer I
Southeast Area
End of Watch – 2/06/09

David Lee "Dr. Dave" Briggs, Sr.
Minister of Leather
End of Watch – 2/24/09

Kenneth Otto Garner
Deputy Chief
Operations-South Bureau
End of Watch – 3/1/09

Joyce Diane Corrales
Police Service Representative II
Rampart Area
End of Watch – 3/4/09

Darlene Goya
Commission Executive Assistant I
Police Commission
End of Watch – 3/11/09

Kelvin M. Lee
Garage Attendant
Motor Transport Division
End of Watch – 3/11/09

And let us not forget our recently departed retired colleagues who we have also lost over the past year.

Sally Greer
Secretary

Michael Callan
Police Officer III

Ernest Herman Lucero
Police Officer II

James Young   
Police Officer III+I

Daniel W. Lott Jr.
Detective III

Thomas Felix Sr.
Sergeant I

Edmond Burns Jr.
Police Officer II+II

William H. Jones
Detention Officer

Cathy Bagnall
Principal Clerk Police III

Kenneth Vils
Policeman

Jeff Poor
Investigator II

Ron Zito
Garage Attendant

Terry Pearson
Detective III

Randall Becker
Policeman III+III

Jesse H. Roth, Jr.,
Policeman II

David Jay Harrison
Detective III

Morrie R. Henkin
Policeman

Jack Rollins
Investigator III

Joe S. Lewis
Detective III

Barney O. Hroza
Police Lieutenant I

Russell Taggart
Police Detective III

John Charles Payton
Police Officer II

Joseph Daniel Friend
Detective III

Michael Mines
Lieutenant II

Fred R. Riscen
Detective I

Robert Fredrickson
Detective III

George O'Nan
Policeman

Thomas Gerald Pompa
Detective I

Virginia Abney
Secretary

Cecil Muchmore
Sergeant

Raymond Crawford
Police III

Harold N. Crowder
Policeman

Charles P. Brown
Sergeant II

Joy Kindler
Police Service Representative

It is often said the LAPD is like a second family.  We often refer to one another as our LAPD brothers and sisters.  As a family, we must care for and look after each other.  Two such ways in which the LAPD cares for its personnel is through its Military Liaison Program and the Department's Wellness Coordinator.

The Military Liaison Program works closely with both Department employees and their families to resolve situations or problems that may arise out of the employee's military activation.  Officer Richard Garibay currently serves as the Department's Military Liaison Officer and is dedicated to providing enhanced quality of life services for those serving in the United States Armed Forces, Guard and Reserve.  For more information, please visit the Military Liaison Officer Program link on the LAN.

Another excellent resource for Department personnel is the Department's Wellness Coordinator.  Now under the command of my office, the Wellness Coordinator represents the Department in critical incidents involving sworn or civilian employees and their immediate family members who are hospitalized, seriously injured, catastrophically ill or who have been impacted by a long-term illness.  The Wellness Coordinator is available to assist with a multitude of resources in the midst of a crisis.

The sworn Wellness Coordinators are on-call 24 hours/seven days a week to respond when a Department sworn or civilian employee, or immediate family member, is critically injured, ill, hospitalized or dies.  If you would like assistance or have questions for the Department Wellness Coordinator, please contact Sergeant Whit Pauly at 213-925-0963, Sergeant Mary E. Kite at 213-944-6819 or the Civilian Wellness Coordinator, Antonia Diaz at 213-216-7009.  

As we take this opportunity to pay reverence to our fallen colleagues and thank them and their families for their sacrifice, we also strengthen our resolve to continue their fight to protect and to serve with integrity, dignity and honor as they did in the name of duty.  We vow to continue to tell their stories and ensure their legacy is never forgotten.sdas


Suspect Hospitalized

Los Angeles: On Thursday, May 14, 2009, at around 10:15 p.m., Harbor Area patrol officers Thomas Baran, 6 years, 10 months with the Department and Daniel Ibarra, 2 years, 1 month with the Department responded to a radio call of a "Male Mental" in the 1600 block of Stonewood Court.   The officers met with the suspect's mother who told them that her son, Mark Skolil had assaulted her and then left the home.  The officers completed their investigation they left the location but returned several hours later to look for the suspect.

When the officers returned to the home they saw the suspect and attempted to take him into custody.  The suspect refused to cooperate with the officers' directions and became combative.  Officer Baran deployed his pepper spray in an attempt to subdue the suspect with negative results.  Officer Ibarra deployed the bean bag shotgun.   The suspect was taken into custody without further incident.

The suspect was taken to local hospital where he was treated and approved for booking.
54-Year-old Mark Skolil, was booked for 386 PC "Elder Abuse".

Several hours later the suspect complained of abdominal pain and was transported to local hospital where it was determined that the suspect had internal injuries that required hospitalization.

Force Investigation Division is investigating this incident.


Notes from the May 26, 2009 Weekly Police Commission Meeting

•    Police Commission President Anthony Pacheco announced he would be stepping down from his position on the Commission effective July 1, 2009.  He expressed his sincere gratitude for being able to serve on the Commission for four years and thanked his fellow Commissioners for their support.

•    Police Commissioner Robert Saltzman informed the Commission that he was going to be accompanying the Chief to various demonstrations throughout the City over the California Supreme Court ruling on Proposition 8. 

•    The verbal presentation and discussion by the Department relative to the Human Trafficking Task Force was given by Lieutenant Dennis Ballas and Management Analyst  Kimberly Agbonkpolor.  Ms. Agbonkpolor stated the task force started in 2005 through a grant from the federal government.  Since then, the task force has trained more than 8,000 LAPD personnel and 500 City personnel which include building inspectors and other entities.  Lieutenant Ballas added that human trafficking amounts to modern-day slave trade and the Department conducts surveillance and undercover operations in order to disband the trafficking rings.  He continued by saying the Department has good relationships with other agencies across the nation in which they share information with.  This helps in tracking the rings as they move from city to city.  The unit has an 800 number to report any suspicious activity and have developed a website which will launch shortly.

•    The Department’s report dated January 3, 2009, and Inspector General’s report, dated May 14, 2009, relative to the Ethics Enforcement Section Quarterly Report, Fourth Quarter 2008, as given by Inspector General André Birotte, was reviewed and approved.  Mr. Birotte stated he looked at samples of complaint intake audits and Ethics Enforcement audits and felt the investigations were done very well.  He added he has a very positive working relationship with the Ethics Enforcement Section of Professional Standards Bureau and was very impressed overall.

•    The Department’s report, dated May 13, 2009, relative to the Supplemental Police Account First Quarterly Report (January through March 2009) was approved and transmitted to the City Council and City Controller.

•    The Department’s report, dated May 19, 2009, relative to the Foothill Area Gang Enforcement Detail Command Accountability Performance Audit (IAID No. 09-047) was approved.

•    The Department’s report, dated May 15, 2009, relative to Management’s Response to the Recommendation of the Timekeeping and Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) audit, March 2008, was received and filed.


71 Year-Old Woman Missing and Family needs Help Finding Her

Los Angeles:  A missing person's family member and the Los Angeles Police Department are seeking the public's assistance in locating 71 year-old Joyce Torres who has been missing since May 22, 2009.

The missing Person, Joyce Torres, was last seen by her daughter on May 22, 2009, at approximately 6:30 a.m., at her residence in the 77th Area of Los Angeles. Joyce Torres has not returned home and has not been located for 6 days. Witnesses said they saw Mrs. Torres later walking in the area of Slauson Avenue and Normandie Avenue.  She was wearing a white shirt with a flower on it, and pink or purple pants.

Family members advised that the Mrs. Torres has been diagnosed with Dementia and Alzheimer's.

Joyce Torres is described as an African American female with grey hair, brown eyes, 5 feet 7 inches tall and weighs about 210 pounds.

If you have seen, or have any information regarding the whereabouts of Joyce Torres, please contact LAPD's Missing Person's Unit, Detective Merrill at 213-485-5381. After hours or on weekends, calls maybe directed to a 24-hour, toll free number at 1-877-LAPD-24-7 or by texting CRIMES (274637) and beginning the message with the letters LAPD. Tipsters may also submit information on the LAPD website, www.lapdonline.org. All tips may remain anonymous.


18-Year-Old Killed in Gang-Related Shooting

Los Angeles:  Los Angeles Police detectives are investigating a gang drive-by shooting that claimed the life of 18-year-old Christopher Herrera and wounded another.

On Saturday, May 23, 2009, at around 2:50 a.m., Christopher Herrera and his friend, a 16-year-old girl, were walking in the 700 block of South Normandie Avenue in Koreatown when they were approached by an unknown vehicle.  Multiple shots were fired at them, striking both of them.  The suspects were only described as male Hispanics who drove away after the shooting. 

Herrera died from his injuries and his friend underwent surgery and is listed in stable condition at a local hospital.

The motive for the shooting is gang-related. 

Anyone with information is urged to call Olympic Homicide Detectives Herman Frettlohr or George Lee at 213-382-9470.  After hours or on weekends, calls may be directed to a 24-hour, toll-free number at 1-877-LAPD-24-7 or by texting CRIMES (274637) and beginning the message with the letters LAPD.  Tipsters may also submit information on the LAPD website www.lapdonline.org.  All tips will remain anonymous.


77th Street Area Detectives are Investigating a Double Shooting

Los Angeles:  Detectives are searching for two suspects who shot two people Saturday afternoon, killing one and wounding the other.

On Saturday, May 23, 2009, just before 5:00 p.m., 31-year-old Anson Greenwood was standing in the 1300 block of West Manchester Avenue with another man when two suspects walked up and opened fire on them. Both men were struck by gunfire and transported to a local hospital.  Greenwood was shot in the chest and pronounced dead at the hospital.  The second victim was listed in stable condition with a gunshot wound to his shoulder.  The motive is unknown.

Detectives have very few leads and are asking for anyone with information related to this crime to contact 77th Area Criminal Gang/Homicide Group, Detectives Ernesto Mendoza or Armando Bernal at 213-485-1383.  After hours or on weekends, calls may be directed to a 24-hour, toll-free number at 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (527-3247).  Callers may also text "Crimes" with a cell phone or log on to www.lapdonline.org and click on web tips.  When using a cell phone, all messages should begin with "LAPD."  Tipsters may remain anonymous.


Suspect/s Wanted for Shooting a North Hollywood Man

Los Angeles:  Detectives from North Hollywood Division are asking for the public's help to identify and locate the suspect/s wanted for shooting a North Hollywood man.

On May 23, 2009, at around 10:30 p.m., North Hollywood patrol officers responded to a radio call of a possible shooting in the 6900 block of Goodland Avenue.  When they arrived, they found North Hollywood resident, Raul Castillo, a 36-year-old male Hispanic lying on the sidewalk with gunshot wounds to his torso.  Los Angeles City Fire Department personnel immediately provided medical treatment and transported the victim to a local hospital where he dead.

During the detective's investigation, it was determined that Mr. Castillo was walking westbound on Bassett Street when he was approached by an unknown suspect or suspects.  The suspect/s fired at least four shots at Mr. Castillo, then drove away in a dark colored unknown type vehicle.

The motive of this crime and the type of weapon used is still unknown. 

Anyone with information about this case is asked to contact Detective Richard Wheeler,  North Hollywood Homicide at 818-623-4075.  After hours or on weekends, calls may be directed to a 24-hour, toll-free number at 1-877-LAPD-24-7 or by texting CRIMES (274637) and beginning the message with the letters LAPD.  Tipsters may also submit information on the LAPD website www.lapdonline.org.  All tips will remain anonymous.


Drunk Driver Takes the Life of Pedestrian

Los Angeles:  On Sunday, May 24, 2009, at around 12:15 a.m., a fatal traffic collision occurred near the intersection of Vernon Avenue and Central Avenue, in Los Angeles.
              
Jose Luis Gonzalez Guzman, a 50-year-old resident of Los Angeles was driving his 2005 Honda Odyssey Van eastbound on Vernon Avenue when he collided with Pablo Hernandez who was walking midblock in a southbound direction across Vernon Avenue.  

During the collision Mr. Hernandez was carried on the hood of the driver’s car for a short distance before he fell off.  As a result of the collision, victim Hernandez suffered extensive injuries and died at the scene.   

Officers assigned to Newton Division responded to the location where they saw the driver, Jose Luis Gonzalez Guzman showing signs of intoxication. The officers conducted a field sobriety test and arrested him for Vehicular Homicide. 

Central Traffic Detectives are conducting the investigation.  Anyone with questions regarding this incident is asked to contact Detective M. Kaden at 213-972-1825.  During weekends and off-hours, call the 24-hour toll free number at 1-877-LAWFULL (1-877-529-3855).


Hit & Run Driver Hit Two Pedestrians

Los Angeles:  A driver who hit a disabled car before driving into two pedestrians is being sought by the Los Angeles Police Departments South Traffic Division.

On May 24, 2009, at around 2:40 a.m. near the intersection of Vernon Avenue and 7th Avenue a hit and run occurred.  The driver of a 1993-1997 2-door Honda Civic, with front end damage, was driving eastbound on Vernon Avenue when the driver crashed into a disabled vehicle in the roadway, sending it careening into a pedestrian, trying to divert traffic around the stalled car.

The hit and run suspect continued to drive eastbound, with the pedestrian still on the hood, and hit a second pedestrian.  With two pedestrians on his hood, the driver continued to drive eastbound for a distance before both victims' fell onto the roadway. The pedestrians had been the occupants of the stalled car.

The suspect drove away from the scene without stopping to identify himself or render aid.  When found the suspect will be facing numerous charges, including Felony Hit and Run.

With no physical description of the suspect and only limited information on the vehicle the suspect was driving, the Los Angeles Police Department is seeking the public's help for information that would lead to the suspect's identity and location. 

Both victims were transported to a local hospital, one with critical injuries and the other in stable condition.

Anyone with information related to this crime is asked to call South Traffic Detectives at 323-290-6093, or 213-485-7336 and ask for the Watch Commander.  After hours or on weekends, calls may be directed to a 24-hour, toll-free number at 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (527-3247).  Callers may also text "Crimes" with a cell phone or log on to www.lapdonline.org and click on web tips.  When using a cell phone, all messages should begin with "LAPD."  Tipsters may remain anonymous.