Bi-monthly Newsletter No. 20
Is Santa Wearing Motor Boots?
By: Glynn Martin Executive Director
The following year, a uniformed sergeant and his wife are featured on The Beat cover delivering toys to the Bide-A-Wee home. The supporting text explains that numerous groups including the Police Officers Wives’ Club, the Square Club and the Anchor Club all participate in charitable giving during the holiday season. Of their own accord officers do things like collect and repair broken toys and assist families on their beats and in their districts. It was during these times that a photograph of Santa was captured at the academy; one of our own distributing gifts. A not so rare occurrence. We do have some uncertainties about the outfit. Presumably the clothing is the proper and festive red and white, but how about the foot wear. Is Santa wearing motor boots? While each of you is enjoying this great photo, we hope your enjoyment will extend through the entire holiday season. The Directors, Governors, staff and volunteers of the historical society thank you for your continuing support as we wish you a safe and prosperous new year. Please think about those who are still serving with the following passage from the December, 1950 Beat,” Police Officers work harder and longer hours during the holidays than at any other season of the year. In giving of ourselves to ensure the happiness and welfare of others, we make our greatest contribution to the Spirit of Christmas.”
What’s Happening at
Old Number 11
By: Glynn Martin Executive Director
There are so many communities within the City of Los Angeles that have their very own names and identities. Certainly the top of the list is Hollywood. Then there are other famous spots like Venice, Watts, San Pedro, East LA and the like. Here at the museum, we are surrounded by a grouping of smaller, but also named areas like Mt. Washington, Garvanza, Hermon, and of course Highland Park. A short jaunt down the street will land you in Eagle Rock, or one of the many parks…..Cypress, Elysian, Griffith or one that has recently gained some notoriety, Echo Park. It seems a famous detective, albeit a fictional one, has put this little corner of LA on the map. Not necessarily through local efforts, though. This recent fame came via the Big Apple. The efforts of Detective Harry Bosch, as detailed in the novel Echo Park, zipped through the bestseller list of the New York Times. From their perch high on the list, Harry and his creator and chronicler, Author Michael Connelly brought Echo Park to the historical society museum in early December. With Chief Bratton and his talented wife looking on, Michael gracefully explained Harry’s return and his most recent investigative undertakings. A substantial crowd engaged Michael for a lively question and answer session prior to a lengthy book signing. A considerable number of active and retired members of the Department turned out for this enjoyable and informative evening. Much of the success of this event can be attributed the efforts of a few. First and foremost was Michael Connelly. Michael volunteered his time to lend support to the historical society’s cause. Newly retired Captain Greg Meyer coordinated the efforts and ensured its success. Dave Dalton, Iris Caplan, Cal Drake, Margie Regan, Gustie Bell and Angie Roman donated their time to assist with the many operations.
Old Number 11
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professionals to share their story toward the end of February (more to follow). Another from our list of tenured and accomplished professionals, Detective Jerry Brooks, forwarded a Detective’s log book from the 1940’s, and no it is not Jerry’s first log book. The book was maintained by a Captain whose handwriting was distinct and undoubtedly time consuming. This gave us a glimpse into the way forgery investigations were handled in World War II era Los Angeles. One of Jerry’s associates also came to our aid with a more modern contribution recently. Bob Kraus provided us with a much needed back-up drive for our collection of digital images. This thoughtful donation means we can safely store a secondary archive of digital images which is now substantial and grows weekly. Our thanks to all of these folks who continue to think of us and render vital assistance. Closing out the calendar year means we will be headed into a new year, with new plans. There are a number of great projects coming together for 2007. In terms of museum exhibits, we expect two significant ones to reach completion this year. The development of the executive level of the museum is well on its way to completion. Two galleries, one featuring police chiefs of the past, and the other featuring the history of police commissioners will be the residents of the top floor of the facility.
Greg Meyer converses with author Michael Connelly and Chief Bratton.
Outside, we hope to complete a shelter for our vehicles, providing our historic fleet with some relief from the elements and the neighbors. A key piece of our historic fleet is also scheduled for a makeover this year. After some successful fundraising efforts, the 1955 Paddy Wagon is being prepped for its return to roadworthiness. John Maxey continues to move this project along with great alacrity. With his talented help, we look for look forward to unveiling this restored beauty in the coming year. Just as the City is a collective of many smaller communities, so too is the historical society. Whether member, donor, Governor, Director, staff or volunteer it takes all of these smaller elements to operate, grow and develop the museum. For all who have chosen to support or assist us during the year, we extend our thanks and our best wishes for a wonderful holiday season. Greg Meyer converses with author Michael Connelly and Chief Bratton.