Bi-monthly Newsletter No. 2 July/August 2003
C. David Dalton
Executive Director LAPD Sergeant (retired)
There were many times during my career with LAPD that I consciously pondered, “Will it have made a difference that I was here?” Long after I got past my youthful exuberance and confidence that I could “change the world” as a cop, the question still gnawed at me. The gritty reality of seeing too much, the physical toll exacted on one’s body from too many altercations and never enough sleep, the long, thankless hours working when only cops and crooks prowled about, days churning into weeks in endless court trials, the frustration, stress, fear, anger—all of these passed through 29 years at an alarming rate. But you gotta love it! Those seemingly rare, precious times when something I did actually made a difference somehow fueled my willingness and appetite for more. But the questions still persisted, “Did it all matter? Who will remember? Does anyone really care about what happened in the past, or are they so consumed in similar challenges every day that the present overshadows all else?” Being equally certain that I wasn’t the only officer having these thoughts, I became involved in the LAPD Historical Society, first as a volunteer and later as an elected member of the Board.
A few short years after retiring (and after having discovered that life does exist after LAPD), I was selected by our Board of Directors to assume the full-time role of Executive Director for the Los Angeles Police Historical Society. I was elated! I can personally assure you (after nearly nine years total involvement in LAPM—the last 15 months in this position), this organization cares! LAPM is comprised of a truly dedicated, committed, caring, and highly diverse group of Board members, exceptional volunteers, and an amazing staff. The many lean years of struggling to keep the dream of a world-class Museum and
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Art Comes to Highland Park Jail
By Valerie Vera
The Los Angeles Police Historical Society hosted an opening reception for the Arroyo Arts Collective installation art exhibit “Without Alarm III” on July 19. LAPM Chairman Tom Hays and a panel of board members selected three works to receive awards. David Dalton, Executive Director of LAPM, announced the winners in a special presentation.
Suzanne Siegel’s “Distress” was awarded First Place for her representation of the pleas police dispatchers receive. The artwork is a visual metaphor of those cries for help. Siegel dedicates this piece to her sister-in-law who worked as a police dispatcher for the Santa Ana Police Department. “While always efficient and professional, she was consistently caring, compassionate and concerned in responding to the distress of callers,” Siegel said. Siegel is a visual artist who lives in Highland Park.
Natalie Kahn and Victoria Alvarez were awarded Second Place. Their installment conveys the emotional pain and despair of former inmates of the cell. “The mesh figures are like thought forms that manifest their energy in time and space. Our proposal illustrates the point that when the human has left the cell only the inhumanity of his confinement remains,” Kahn and Alvarez explain.
Third Place was awarded to Miki Seifert and William Franco for their work entitled “For Whom the Bell Tolls.” The artists created a public altar that asks the viewer to contemplate capital punishment. The viewer can ring a bell for two minutes after selecting the name of the person executed and the name(s) of the victim(s). The altar is simply arranged on a sheet metal cot in a jail cell and pays homage to John Donne’s poem. “I was very impressed that the board came and devoted that kind of time,” said Heather Hoggan, Co-president of the Arroyo Arts Collective. “The show was very well received, and the reception was incredible.” The judges discussed each entry and a consensus was made. “These selections
photos by Kevin Hass Photography
best evoked the theme for the show- `custody, captivity, containment, security,’ said Dave Dalton. “This free event is intended as another community outreach to introduce the “Behind the Badge: The
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At a sign dedication ceremony held on July 16, Guy and Marion Martin (pictured above) were recognized for their generous support. Also acknowledged were local brick mason David Hall and Foster Dennis, President, California Paving & Grading Company.
The LAPD Legacy
Thomas G. Hays,
LAPD Captain (retired)
High on my agenda after I assumed the position of Chairman of the Board for the LAPD Museum and Community Education Center about five months ago was to use every means available to let Department employees, both active and retired, know that the Historical Society and, in particular, the Museum, is actually in operation and someplace that you can finally touch and feel and visit. Virtually all worthwhile “dreams” start with just the concept and then go through the agony of gathering those of like thought and evolve into the planning stage which includes the difficult task of determining how to finance the thing. Early on, many of you liked the idea and jumped on the bandwagon by joining the Board of Directors, writing in your suggestions or, perhaps the most courageous of all, signing up for a payroll deduction or sending in your annual dues. For several years, there wasn’t much to show for that commitment, but believe me, your support was critical and became the foundation for where we are today.
With the assistance of the Los Angeles Police Protective League, Los Angeles Retired Fire and Police Association, and people like our good friend Jack Halstead and his retired Newsletter, who published articles and columns about the Historical Society, the word is spreading fast that there is something worthwhile up at 6045 York Blvd. We have experienced a sharp increase in visitors due to that publicity. The gratifying part is that virtually everybody who comes by is impressed by the building and even by the relatively early stages of our displays. Our new lighted sign is also drawing the public who comment that they love the place and hadn’t realized that we were there.
While our official hours open to the public at this stage of development are Fridays from 9am to 3pm, I gotta tell you that if you are in the area during the other four days of the week and are willing to take a little “pot luck” on who’s available to show you around, come by. We need your support, and while the printed word is helping, we think your visit will be worth a thousand words. Oh, and by the way, should you become as excited as we are about the project, there are membership applications available at the front desk along with forms for your comments and suggestions. After all, this is YOUR Museum!
10th Annual Jack Webb Awards Dinner
June 21, 2003
Chief William Bratton, Mary Helen Ayala, Dick Wolf, Paula Kent Meehan and LAPD, retired Deptuy Chief, David Gascon
Detective-Sergeant John O’Toole with Chief Bratton and Commissioner Bert Boeckmann
The Tenth Annual Jack Webb Awards dinner and auction honored Dick Wolf, producer of Law & Order and Dragnet, Board of Governors member Paula Kent Meehan, Detective/Sgt. John O’Toole and LAPD Executive Secretary Mary Helen Ayala. The evening netted over $127,000 to fund LAPM programs.
Arroyo Arts Collective (cont’d from page 1)
LAPD Experience, Museum and Community Education Center.”
The exhibit can be viewed Thursdays (noon to 9pm) and Fridays and Saturdays noon to 5pm). For more information, please contact the Arroyo Arts Collective at (323) 850-8566 or www.arroyoartscollective.org.
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Community Education Center alive have borne fruit. LAPM’ Founder, Detective- Sergeant Richard Kalk (LAPD Retired), had a large vision and the heart to persevere. “The Dream” has been transformed into “Behind The Badge: The LAPD Experience.” We’re a real place, and things are happening! If you haven’t yet visited us, we’re located at 6045 York Boulevard, in Highland Park, in the beautifully revitalized and transformed former LAPD Highland Park Police Station #11.
Here’s the bottom line—WE CARE! Every officer and non-sworn employee since LAPD began has a story that deserves to be recorded and told. Every one of us made a difference—some good, some not—but each and every person contributed to the rich, colorful history of the greatest police department in the world. It’s OUR story; be fiercely proud of it and help us develop and portray it. Contribute in any way you can! Become and stay a member. Upgrade your membership. Volunteer – we have numerous ways you can assist us. Consider LAPM in your will. Let us evaluate your memorabilia and treasures for possible inclusion in our collection. Tell others about us. Send us your stories. Record your memories. Visit. Call. Get involved! Don’t become an invisible blip on the radar screen of history.
YOU MATTER, AND WE CARE!
Mugshots: Meet Rudy De Leon
By Mae Woods
When Rudy De Leon thinks back on his childhood, he feels fortunate to have grown up in a large household during the Depression. “Families then had a great advantage—they worked together and were closer than people seem to be now.”
The De Leons lived in Watts, then a largely Latino community. Rudy and his four brothers and sisters sold their mother’s homemade tamales door to door. His father and uncles raised chickens and pigs and grew vegetables on the vacant lot next door.
Rudy started boxing at age 15 and immediately excelled at the sport. “I wasn’t that good,” he demurs. “It was just that everyone else was bad!” He joined the Navy in WWII and continued to box, even winning a Golden Gloves championship match. When he read an article on the sports page about athletes in the LAPD, he was intrigued. He’d never thought about law enforcement as a career. Rudy entered the Academy in 1947. There were only three minority students in his class of 135.
As a rookie, he was selected for a new gang detail. At that time, LA’s fiercest gangs were Latino. Rudy’s unit covered three divisions: Central, Hollenbeck and Highland Park. The officers developed a system of organizing intelligence, filing daily notes on every car, gang marker, nickname and tattoo. When a shooting occurred, they used these files to identify gang members and their rivals.
In 1967, Rudy was one of the founders of the Latin American Law Enforcement As-sociation (known as La Ley). “Early on, we agreed we would not be political. We would be a resource to the administration when problems arise. We also wanted to be inclusive.” The group provides scholarships
for local students and sponsors study groups to help minority officers move up in rank.
As a sergeant in the ’70s, Rudy became Fullerton Community College’s first minority instructor. He liked teaching and soon had assignments at three schools—while holding a full-time police job.
“By teaching, I was always learning,” Rudy says. He believes that working in the classroom made it easier for him to take exams and advance his career. In 1971, he became the first Hispanic Captain in the LAPD. Rudy knew they’d post him to Hollenbeck in Boyle Heights and had misgivings. He didn’t want to be stereotyped.
“But when I got there, I really loved it.” He put each employee’s photo on the wall and instructed everyone to call each other by their first name. He instituted ride-alongs for civilian employees (from custodians to records clerks) so they could better understand police work.
He transformed the station’s large basement into a boxing gym. Local parents could bring their kids there to learn to box from professionals. The program was a huge success. Rudy was happy. “I had no desire to go anywhere else. I thought we were very successful. Morale was high. We had a lot of support in the community.”
When Rudy retired in 1978, Governor Jerry Brown appointed him to the Parole Board in Sacramento. After two years, he joined Attorney General John Van de Kamp as his Special Assistant and stayed in this post until 1988. Once again, his retirement didn’t last long. Rudy was selected by the LA County Board of Supervisors for the newly created position of Ombudsman. From 1994 to 2002, he investigated
From left to right:
Rudy DeLeon with retired LAPD Sergeant and author Joseph Wambaugh and retired LAPD Chief, Senator Ed Davis
LAPM Board Member & Retired LAPD Captain
Rudy De Leon
complaints against the police and acted as a troubleshooter for the department.
After LAPM was founded in 1989, Rudy was selected as the first Chairman of the Board. Today, he’s still an active member and brings several lifetimes of experience—police officer, teacher, organizer, and political appointee at the state, county and city level—to the organization.
Rudy married Helen Carrick in 1946. They have three children: Cindy, Regina and Rudy De Leon II, a 29-year police vet now serving with the LAPD Mounted Unit. Rudy and Helen currently live in Lomita in the South Bay area.
Tots celebrate Health and fun at Police Museum
The Museum hosted an all-day Children’s Health Fair on Saturday, June 28. Free medical screenings—including dental, vision and chiropractic exams—were provided for 412 local youngsters. The day included tours of the station, photos with historic police vehicles, clowns, face-painting, refreshments, a raffle, and free fingerprinting/photo ID services.
Sponsors included Jackson Federal Bank, Highland Park Kiwanis Club, Arroyo Vista Medical Group, Adrian Sanchez, DDS, and Councilmembers Ed Reyes and Nick Pacheco.
“What one has, one
ought to use;
and whatever he does
he should do with
all his might.”
LAPD Museum Stars in New ABC Show
By Valerie Vera
The Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department has taken over the Highland Park Police Station. Well, only temporarily… The Los Angeles Police Historical Museum is the site for a new 60-minute sheriff drama, 10-8. The newly renovated 1927 building is the perfect location for the show because of its wonderful features: authentic jail cells, squad room, interrogation rooms and vintage cop cars.
ABC launches 10-8 as part of their fall line-up on Sundays at 8pm. Spelling Television and Touchstone filmed most of the pilot episode at the Museum and in the surrounding community of Highland Park.
“This is a great thing for the community,” said Tristan Daoussis, Director of the Facilities and Production Services Division of the Entertainment Industry Development Corporation. “When productions like this come into a community, it helps build up their economy.” Proceeds from the rental of the Museum by the production company benefit the work of LAPM.
10-8 is mainly about the relationships between rookies and their trainers. The show stars Danny Nucci as Rico Amonte, a bad boy from Brooklyn who lives a life of crime until his older brother, a police detective, brings him to Southern California to keep him out of trouble. Two years later, Rico graduates from the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Academy. Used to the dangerous streets of New York, Rico is ready to begin his job on the streets of Los Angeles. But nothing has prepared him for his mean, tough, by-the-book training officer John Henry Barnes, played by Ernie Hudson.
photo courtesty of ABC.com
on location at the LAPM Museum
10-8 premieres Septmeber 28th
The drama is produced by Aaron Spelling and Jorge Zamacona. Spelling has produced such hit shows such as 7th Heaven, Charmed, Melrose Place, Beverly Hills, 90210 and Dynasty. Zamacona has written for Law & Order, Third Watch and St. Elsewhere.