Bi-monthly Newsletter No. 3 September/October 2003

The Lapad Is Us

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Chairman Thomas G. Hays, LAPD Captain (retired)

When asked to define the LAPD, many answers come to mind-mostly organizational descriptions or mission statements or like answers. I have always felt that the best answer is simply that it is us. From the first officer who drew a paycheck back in the 19th century to the employees who got theirs last week, the Department is its people. While a mighty building might be made up of individual bricks and beams, each doing a specific job to support it, the structure goes by a specific name which identifies it. And our Department is really no different.

With that theme in mind, the Historical

Society has created a means by which each of us “bricks” can identify ourselves and let those who follow us know we have been part of this great structure called the Department. An actual brick has been designed for you to inscribe your name, dates of your service, division worked, or any other facts you wish. (See article on page 2 for brick samples and how to order.)

You will note that a Walk of Remembrance has already been created at the Historic Academy, and a Wall of Remembrance is being created at the Museum in Highland Park. This is a great way to place yourself in the history of the Department and support the efforts of the LAPM Museum & Community Education Center. I have already purchased mine and, in fact, bought a brick for a former partner and close friend of mine who passed away a few years ago. He was a terrific friend and great police officer, and I wanted to make sure that he was remembered. Both his and my brick are already in place at the flagpole where we both started our careers. Think about putting yours there, too.

“A Night With Joe Friday: A Tribute to LAPD Detectives Real & Reel” Saturday, November 22, 2003 5:00p.m. to 9:00p.m.
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Celebrate the legacy of LAPD heroes—from fiction and real life—at a gala tribute at the LA Police Museum & Community Education Center.

The evening includes a BBQ dinner, entertainment by the Copper Creek Band, author appearances, and door prizes. Awards will be presented to Area Hat Squad Detective of the Year, Specialized Detective Division Hat Squad Detective of the Year, and Ray Pinker Forensic Specialist of the Year.

Also, the new Detective Logo will be unveiled. The design, created by an officer in a recent contest, will be featured on medallions available to all active LAPD detectives.

LAPD authors scheduled to attend include Joe Wambaugh (The Fire Lover, The Onion Field, The Choirboys, The New Centurions, etc.), Steve Hodel (Black Dahlia Avenger), Stephen Downing (TV scripts for MacGyver, ChiPs, Mike Hammer, T.J. Hooker, etc.), Dallas Barnes (See the Woman) and Keith Bushey (The Centurion’s Shield). Guests are encouraged to bring their books for autographing.

The event also marks the launch of the Museum’s North Hollywood Bank Shootout display which includes a bullet-riddled police cruiser, photos and items of evidence which capture the drama of the harrowing 1997 robbery and aftermath.

Proceeds from the evening will fund the Museum’s new Fallen Heroes Tribute. Tickets are $20 per person. Warning: the No Necktie casual dress code will be strictly enforced.

Tickets are available at: LAPD Area Detective Divisions LA Police Federal Credit Union Los Angeles Police Museum For event information, call 1-877-714-LAPD.

Chief’s Circle gets a grilling

The Chief’s Circle Appreciation Dinner filled the Museum grounds with the foot stompin’ music of the White Lightnin’ Band on September 16 as LAPM supporters gathered for a western BBQ, awards, dancing, and hayrides (yup, moonlight rides through Highland Park to the South Pasadena Stables accompanied by the guitar music of Bob Schuster).

After an invocation by Pastor Alfredo Trejo, Executive Director Dave Dalton welcomed speakers South Pasadena Police Chief Dan Watson, LA

City Councilmember Antonio Villaraigosa, and LAPD Chief William Bratton and his wife Rikki Klieman.

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Special awards were presented to David Gerber, Dr. Paul Toffel and Marguerite P. Justice (who was unable to attend) to Councilmember Villaraigosa with event host Chief Bratton and his wife Rikki Klieman
acknowledge their outstanding service as members of the Board of Governors this year. (see photos below)

LAPM Mission Statement:

“Our mission is to enhance public safety by building a bridge of understanding and support between our community and its police department. We bring people closer together through a unique combination of a police museum and interactive youth programs that instill an appreciation of the essential role of the police in a free society.”


MUSEUM BRICKS HONOR LAPD BLUE

The LAPM Museum and the Police Academy are joining forces to build two distinctive brick tributes to the LAPD. You can contribute an inscribed brick to commemorate a police officer and support the expansion of the museum.

The personalized bricks will be used to build a wall in a new park area being developed on the Museum grounds. Bricks at the Police Academy will be placed in a walkway, creating a Walk of Remembrance between the flag pole and the building.

A brick can be purchased for a $100 donation. If you’d like to add your tribute to both sites, a second brick can be ordered for $50. Each rust colored brick is 8″x4″x2″ with black, block print letters. You can specify one to three lines of print with up to sixteen characters on a line. (A space is counted as a character.) Letters are ¾” in height. Donations for the commemorative bricks are tax deductible.

Log on to www.LAPM.com for an order form or call (323) 344-9445 for more information.

Brick Samples

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Trivia: Just the facts

Dragnet fans, how well do you remember the vintage years of the TV show? 1. Who played Sgt. Friday’s partner? A. Barton Yarborough B. Ben Alexander C. Harry Morgan D. Raymond Burr 2. Sgt. Friday’s badge number was: A. A tribute to Babe Ruth’s 714 home runs B. His mom’s birthday, July 14 C. Assigned to an LAPD officer working on the show D. The number on a toy badge given to Webb as a child Answers: 1. A, B and C are correct. However, Burr did play Friday’s boss in the 1951 pilot episode.

2. C. Retired Sgt. Dan Cooke, the show’s technical advisor, arranged for the use of his own badge number for the series. His widow donated the real Badge 714 to the LAPM Museum where it is now on display.

If you enjoy TV nostalgia, you’ll love The Cop Cookbook. It features 300 recipes accompanied by police lore, movie trivia, and photos of the world’s favorite TV/film cops and PIs. You’ll find Jack Webb’s recipe for Dragnet Tamale Pie on page 116. The cookbook is sold in the Museum gift shop and at www.LAPM.com

MUSEUM GALLERY SHOWCASES LAPD

 

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C. David Dalton Executive Director LAPD, Sergeant (retired)
Legendary U.S. Marshal Matt Dillon of Gunsmoke fame perhaps said it best when he described his career as a law enforcement officer: “I’m the first man they call and the last one they want to meet. Being Marshal is a chancy job; it makes you more aware but vulnerable and a little bit lonely.” As a long-time fan of Gunsmoke, I must have heard those words hundreds of times. They resonated truest, however, each time I experienced one of those life-changing moments as a police officer that wrench your gut, grip you with fear and make you wonder, “Is this the end?”

Struggling with an ex-con for your life, looking down the wrong end of a gun, facing a knife wielded by some nutcase, or even patting down some “hype” whose concealed needle could inflict a deadly AIDS or hepatitis-laden prick – that thought does occur! Somehow, though, a fear/adrenaline-inspired rush, coupled with a strong will to survive, kicks in. Then, the thought of dying in that stinking, “chancy” moment is repulsive enough to induce a survival response. Training for such an encounter, mental preparation, physical endurance, and prayer ultimately determine the victor – most of the time.

But, I am also mindful of all the officers who bravely stared death in the face and were dealt a fatal blow. Fate is fickle-and chancy! And death is greedy and often instantaneous, never affording the slightest moment to respond, nor caring that this officer was a person, not just a uniform and badge, whose

life mattered! Each had loved ones left behind to try to make sense of something that doesn’t. They had likes and dislikes, hobbies and interests, friends, possibly a spouse and children left without a father or mother. Yet, in all our collective concern and profound sense of loss, we tend to reduce the lives of our fallen heroes to mere engraved names on a piece of granite.

Certainly, a proper, dignified monument is essential and rightful-lest we ever forget. But there is so much more that we should do as well. We can be thankful for such incredible organizations as the Los Angeles Police Protective League, the Police Memorial Foundation, the LA Police Federal Credit Union, Police Relief and many others that have done so much to memorialize and meaningfully remember the stricken lives behind the badge and the loved ones left behind.

I was privileged several years ago to guide the development of the Memorial Court of Honor at the Ahmanson Recruit Training Center. At the center of the Memorial is a hand reverently raised, in the middle of which is outlined the indiscernible gender of an ascending human spirit. Around the wrist are words drafted by LAPD Master Chaplain, Reverend Father Michael McCullough: “I was consumed in freedom’s cause. Regrets? None save one…my loved ones’ agony. Remember them for me.”

The Board of Directors, Los Angeles Police Historical Society, has approved the creation of a Fallen Heroes Tribute gallery that will “remember them” on behalf of each LAPD officer who paid the ultimate blood price for our freedom and the values we cherish.

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Mugshots: Meet Dr. Paul Toffel

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Dr. Paul Toffel and his wife, Beverly, were among the very first supporters of LAPM. They joined the fledgling organization as a means of honoring her father, Sgt. Orville C. Peterson, a 33-year LAPD officer who passed away in 1983.

Dr. Toffel joined the first Board of Directors and was later recruited to a prominent position on the Board of Governors. In May, the Toffels hosted a combined meeting of the Directors and Governors at their home in La Canada. When Chief William Bratton noticed a photograph of Beverly’s father, the commander revealed he keeps the very same photo on the wall of his office. It depicts a young policeman aiding a little girl after a freeway accident, perfectly capturing the spirit of a diligent and caring LAPD officer on duty (see photo below).

Married for 38 years, Paul and Beverly met at George Washington High School in South Central LA. Toffel’s father had a retail business in the area. He was robbed and killed in the aftermath of the Watts Riots in 1965. Vowing not to become bitter, Toffel dedicated himself to honoring his dad by finishing medical school and working to improve LA. “Then 27 years later,” he said, “I found

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Photo on display at the LA Police Museum

myself taking care of Reginald Denny, the truck driver injured in the 1992 riots. He was admitted while I was on duty at Daniel Freeman Hospital.”

Dr. Toffel joined the LA County Sheriff’s Reserve Unit in 1972 while working as a resident at County USC Medical Center. He currently serves as a medical officer in the Air Rescue Helicopter Squad and works as a Clinical Professor of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery at USC School of Medicine. His busy medical practice, specializing in nasal and sinus surgery, now includes offices in Glendale, Marina del Rey and Century City.

This taxing work schedule has not kept him from continuing to contribute time, leadership and financial support to LAPM. Beverly Toffel is equally committed to the mission of the organization. Her brother, Sgt. O.C. Peterson, Jr., recently retired from the LAPD after 30 years of service, and two nephews and a niece currently work in law enforcement.

Dr. Toffel understands the importance of the work underway at the Museum. “The LAPD has a proud history,” he states. “It is a wonderful and unique organization at the forefront of leadership in urban law enforcement. It’s a joy to participate in recording and preserving the legacy of this great department.”

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(Continued from page 2) It will be located on the top floor of “Behind The Badge: The LAPD Experience” Museum & Community Education Center, 6045 York Boulevard (the former Highland Park station). This tribute will be a place of dignity, honor, reverence and remembrance. The totality of each officer’s life will be represented using various displays, memorabilia and interactive multimedia. As John Tolle, Senior Pastor of the LightHouse Church, recently described so poignantly in a sermon-when you study a grave marker or headstone, there are normally two dates-one denoting birth, the other the date of demise. However, the sum total of our life-all the years in between-are represented by a simple dash (-). That’s a sobering and humbling thought, but nevertheless true.
The Fallen Heroes Tribute will focus on the “dash” in each officer’s life. The gallery has already been magnificently designed by Concepts 2 Creations under the direction of Kristin Firrell, and funding efforts have begun in earnest. LAPM feels that this is our most important effort, and we need your help to see this project through to completion!

A portion of the net proceeds from the forthcoming event “A Night With Joe Friday” (November 22), designed to honor past and present LAPD Detectives, will be directed to this project—so purchase your tickets now! You can also contribute directly to this project; make your check payable to “LAPM” and indicate “Fallen Heroes Tribute” in the notes. Cash and credit cards are also accepted. Please generously support this project; these are LAPD’s true heroes, and their memory deserves our best!