LA Council Approves Streets Signs Honoring Fallen LAPD Officers

05/07/2014 4:50 pm0 commentsViews: 19

By ELIZABETH HSING-HUEI CHOU
City News Service
LOS ANGELES (CNS) – The Los Angeles City Council today approved the
installation of street signs memorializing the more than 200 LAPD officers who

Mayor Eric Garcetti will   Chief Charlie Beck to honor 207 LAPD officers who have died in the line of duty Photo by Gary McCarthy

Mayor Eric Garcetti will
Chief Charlie Beck to honor 207 LAPD officers who have
died in the line of duty
Photo by Gary McCarthy

have died in the line of duty.
The council voted 14-0 to create and place the signs at the approximate
locations where each of the officers were killed.
A string of LAPD officer deaths in recent months have brought the total
number of fallen officers to 207, according to city officials. Three officers,
Nicholas Lee, Christopher A. Cortijo and Roberto Sanchez, died in separate
traffic collisions in just the past two months — with Sanchez killed last
Saturday.
Mayor Eric Garcetti, LAPD Chief Charlie Beck and other city leaders are
scheduled to honor the fallen officers tomorrow as part of Police Memorial
Month, which is observed each May.
Councilman Mitch Englander, who introduced the street signs motion, said
the project to memorialize the officers began last year. LAPD commanding
officers combed through old police records and news reports, “filling out the
missing details, pinpointing the exact locations and even retracing the steps
of these officers from over 100 years ago,” he said.
The first LAPD officer killed on duty, Clyde A. Mays, died on Feb. 28,
1907, according to Englander.
“No sign or memorial will express the deep gratitude we share for our
fallen officers, but by keeping their legacies alive, we will always remember
the brave men and women who protected and served our great citizens here,” he
said.
The project will help tell the story of each officer, Englander said.
The signs bear numbers that can be looked up on a soon-to-be launched website
informing the public “about the circumstances of these officers,” he said.
While the motion drew unanimous support from the City Council, one of
its members, former LAPD Chief Bernard Parks, suggested to his colleagues that
the community would want to weigh in before the signs go up in front of their
homes and businesses.
“Some business people might not find it as invigorating as you do, as
it relates to this issue. That’s all I’m saying,” he said.
“It’s not like they’re not being honored,” Parks said, noting that
fallen officers are already memorialized at each of the stations where they
were assigned.
Parks also wondered whether the signs would open the door to requests by
members of the public for permanent memorials to homicide victims, and even
people who were killed by police officers.
“We’ve basically told people in years past that we just don’t do
that,” he said.
Parks also said the motion should be “consistent” with another one
that aims to regulate the removal of temporary memorials erected after a
traffic collision or other tragedy.
Other council members were impatient to the see the signs installed.
“I’d like to know how many years we’ve been trying to get this done,”
said Councilman Joe Buscaino, a former LAPD officer.
The signs have been made and “they’re ready to go,” he said.
“Colleagues, we cannot delay on this,” Buscaino said. “We owe it to
the LAPD officers who paid the ultimate sacrifice and got killed in the line of
duty.”

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