Bosch at Reserve Banquet; Chief Beck Receives Old Reserve Badge

The setting sun burned the sky pink and orange in the same bright hues as surfers’ bathing suits. It was beautiful deception, Bosch thought, as he drove north on the Hollywood Freeway to home. Sunsets did that here. Made you forget it was the smog that made their colors so brilliant, that behind every pretty picture there could be an ugly story. — Michael Connelly, The Black Echo (which introduced the character Harry Bosch)

On May 12, as the California sun was setting above the Santa Monica Mountains, the annual Reserve Officer of the Year and Twice a Citizen banquet was underway. For the second year in a row, the banquet was held at the famed Skirball Cultural Center.

This year, the Department Reserve Officer of the Year honor went to Kenji Inaba of Rampart Division. He also received the honors for Rampart Area and Central Bureau. Officer Inaba first gained recognition for his work in the Corps while he was a reserve recruit in the Academy. CBS LA profiled him in the January 2016 story, “Surgeon Trades Scalpel for Glock In LAPD Reserve Training.” (Click here to view the Summer 2016 issue of The Rotator.)

As The Rotator was going to press, Officer Inaba was appointed to the Department’s newly established chief surgeon position. He will serve as the primary coordinator of emergency medical programs for officers injured in the line of duty and emergency medical and first-aid training programs for Department personnel.

The other Bureau Reserve Officers of the Year honorees were: Joseph Saba (West Los Angeles) for West Bureau, Sharon Abbott (Harbor) for South Bureau and Roger Andrews (Mission) for Valley Bureau. View their bios here and click here for the list of all reserve officers of the year.

Four officers received their 50-year service pins: Jim Dellinger (Devonshire), Robert Kalstrom (Van Nuys), Frank Pettinato (TD) and Dennis Zine (GND). Click here to see the full list of service pins awarded.

Following the presentation of colors by the LAPD Honor Guard, Officer Rosalind Curry’s singing of the national anthem and Father Michael Cooper’s invocation, hosts Bill Ahmanson and Kiki Haynes opened the evening at the Skirball’s Guerin Hall and greeted the 480 guests in attendance.

LAPRF Presidents Karla Ahmanson and Michael Sellars welcomed guests. Sellars said, “You are going to hear some amazing stories tonight — stories of service, dedication and courage. Take them home with you and share these stories.” He named the members of the Corps, both active and retired, who have passed away this past year: Steven Simona, Andre Dawson, Eddie Kafafian and Mickey Jones.

This was Chief of Police Charlie Beck’s last Reserve Officer of the Year banquet. At the time of this writing, he is scheduled to retire from the Department in June 2018. Chief Beck has served 45 years with the Department, beginning his law enforcement career as an LAPD reserve officer in 1975 and going full-time in March 1977. At the banquet, he was presented with his original reserve officer badge, encased in Lucite.

A Chief’s message video was played at the banquet; the video can be viewed on the Los Angeles Police Reserve Foundation’s YouTube channel. In the video, Chief Beck talked about his time in the Reserve Academy: “It was my first introduction to law enforcement, and it changed my life. I learned what being a cop was all about: the commitment to service, the commitment to helping others, the belief that you are part of something greater than any one person… Until you have walked in those shoes, given the commitment that our reserves have to give to do this work along with what they normally do in their regular lives is really something of great significance.” He talked about how reserves can bridge the gap between the community and the Department. He finished by giving thanks to reserve officers: “The program means a lot to me; it is the base from which I came. But it’s also what I think best embodies not only the humanity, but the sincerity, the genuine nature of the Los Angeles Police Department.”

The Twice a Citizen honorees were Michael Connelly, the award-winning author and executive producer of Bosch, and Titus Welliver, the star of the Amazon series.

In a New York Times review of the fourth season of the series, Mike Hale wrote: “…there’s no doubt which current series would score as most similar to the classic 1950s cop show Dragnet. Detective Harry Bosch doesn’t actually say ‘This is the city: Los Angeles, California,’ but Bosch…is the spiritual heir to that granddaddy of laconic L.A. procedurals.

“It’s part of a tradition that carries down through Adam-12, Police Woman, Quincy, M.E., The Shield and Southland, and it wears its nostalgia proudly. Neither the character nor the show makes apologies for being old school. Bosch isn’t the best or most original series, but it’s honest and reliable, like Bosch. It plays fair with the viewer, and among fans of its genre, it has a rabid following.”

For the first time, a video was produced of the red carpet festivities, which included several interviews. Michael Connelly said: “I’m getting an honor, but I’m really not the one who should be honored. This is for the reserves of the Los Angeles Police Department. And talk about unsung heroes, these are people who I think make like 50 bucks a month to go out there and be in harms away. And that, to me, is the definition of a hero.

“I spend a lot of time with cops, some of them are reserve, some not, and hopefully the bargain they make where they’re willing to do this even though it’s a very tough job, hopefully I get some of that by osmosis and I put it into my characters that I write about.” Connelly has written 31 novels, with over 60 million copies sold.

When asked what the Twice a Citizen Award meant to him, he said: “It means a lot because it comes from the family of police. All I try to do with my books and my TV shows is get that life right, or to come as close as I can, so when the people who actually live that life turn around and want to give you a trophy or something, it’s pretty amazing.”

Titus Welliver spoke of the authenticity of Bosch, which has garnered many fans in the law enforcement field: “The LAPD has granted us incredible access to all things as they relate to LAPD. And that acceptance, and that help, comes from a very genuine place… we tell our stories, and we cover everybody. We cover politicians that are good, politicians that are not so good; police officers that our good, ones that are not so good. There’s…tremendous goodwill with LAPD… cops are real fans and supporters of the show, and they really like it, and I think part of it is because we’re grounded in reality. I’m not driving a Ferrari and wearing $2,000 Italian suits. Harry is like the show; this is who I am, take me or leave me.”

Robert Glucroft, who recently retired from the Corps after 26 years of service, was presented with the Andrea Friedman Award. This award is given to those who go above and beyond in supporting the reserve program. Glucroft continues to serve as secretary of the LAPRF and joins Chief Beck and former Assistant Chief Sandy Jo MacArthur in having received this award.

The winner of the 2018 LAPRF Emeritus Scholarship was Reserve Officer Karina Michelle Ardon of Olympic Area. Officer Ardon is a former cadet commander and an LAPD POPP graduate. This is the second year that the scholarship has been presented.

A door prize — a 50” smart TV — was given out to a lucky guest at the end of the night. Crystal Burke-Potts won on the third draw, beating out those who had already left.

In December 2017, the Skirball Fire was “one of multiple wildfires that broke out across Southern California… The fire burned 422 acres of land on the slopes of the Sepulveda Pass… causing the closure of Interstate 405” (per Wikipedia). LAPD reserve officers were on scene around the city, working evacuations and other duties, in the smoke and in the ash, their uniforms due for a major dry cleaning that would easily swallow up their stipend.

It was a different scene this night: a red carpet, a cocktail reception and a banquet honoring these unsung heroes of the Corps. The evening ended with Reserve Officer Darla Cozzarelli singing “America the Beautiful.” One might imagine Harry Bosch leaving afterwards, the actual route notwithstanding:

He took the 101 out to the Valley and then the 405 north to the 118 and west. He got off in Chatsworth and drove into the rocky bluffs at the top corner of the Valley. — Michael Connelly, The Black Echo

The LAPRF would like to thank all of the banquet donors and supporters, including the Ahmanson Foundation, Amazon Studios, Ambassador Frank and Kathy Baxter, Amy Aquino and Drew McCoy, Arsine Phillips and Amy Savagian, Councilmember Mitch Englander, Cynthia L. and the William E. Simon Jr. Foundation, Eddie Cunningham and NBC Universal, Elaine and Neil Simon, Paul Favero, Kathy Fergen and East West Bank, the Frandzel Family, Gary and Linda Goldfein, Ira Krinsky and Roberta Weintraub, Jane and Marc Nathanson, Jane Schroeder and Lenox Advisors, Inc., Jim Sarni and Payden & Rygel, John Moriarty and Associates, Judy and Tom Flesh, Latham and Watkins, LAPRA, LAPRAAC, Laura Dang and the Union Bank Foundation, Mark and Amanda Werts and American Rag Cie, Mark Deitch and 911MEDIA, Mark Hutchins and KPMG, Merle and Peter Mullin, Michael Yager and Banc of California, Midwest Wholesale Lighting, Paradigm Talent Agency, Patty Glaser and Sam Mudie, the Petersen Automotive Museum, Phillips Law Partners, LLP, Roger Andrews, Steve and Alice Yslas, Steve Fazio and Nicole Kluft, Supervisor Kathryn Barger, Trust Company of the West, and Vin and Erica Di Bona.

Thanks to our auction donors, including Jean-Michel Cousteau Resorts, Fiji Airways, Chief Charlie Beck, LAPD Air Support, LAPD SWAT, Michael Connelly, Center Theatre Group, Universal Pictures, Bernard Khalili, Melvyn Kennedy, Make Rosson—California Supply, Jason of Beverly Hills and Tiffany & Co. Special thanks to Bernard Khalili and Rickey Gelb for our fabulous door prize, a 50” smart TV.

And a special thanks to Lieutenant Curtis McIntyre, Sergeant James Gaffney, Officer Johnny Gil and the Reserve Section team; the L.A. Vintage Coppers; Skirball Cultural Center — Uri Herschel, Founder/CEO, and Chris Porteous, Event Coordinator; Dave Gomez for the Chief’s message; Randy Bellous Productions, Intelliprompt, Tony Finetti and Mark Mardoyan; and all our volunteers.

Editor’s note: LAPRF banquet photos can be viewed and downloaded at https://bit.ly/2JoXPEW. A photo album of select banquet photos can also be viewed on LAPRF’s Facebook page. If you have any questions, you can email msellars@laprf.org.