On April 22, we held our Reserve Officer of the Year and Twice a Citizen banquet at the Skirball Cultural Center, celebrating the 70th anniversary of the Los Angeles Police Reserve Corps. In 1947, the Los Angeles City Council established the Corps as part of the Los Angeles Police Department. Two of those Council members, Kenneth Hahn and Ernest E. Debs, continue to be hallowed Los Angeles leaders. The banquet honored those who have served and those who serve today, culminating with the Department Reserve Officer of the Year. This year, the Department honor went to two officers. Congratulations, Officers Matt Krieger (77th Street Area) and Stephen Lee (North Hollywood Area).
In addition to recognizing our Reserve Officers of the Year, this banquet raised funds so that the Foundation can continue its efforts to recruit more reserve officers and provide required and extra training, equipment, scholarships and the Rotator newsletter.
To that end, this year we recognized three outstanding community leaders as Twice a Citizen. Dr. Phil McGraw, through the Dr. Phil show, acknowledges the hard work and dedication of the nation’s peace officers. His “Behind the Badge” segment features officers who have gone above and beyond in their communities. Los Angeles City Council Member Mitchell Englander is a staunch supporter of the LAPD and chairman of the Public Safety Committee, and has also served as a reserve officer since 2005. Santa Clarita City Council Member Bob Kellar was the mayor of Santa Clarita in 2004, 2008, 2013 and 2016. He joined LAPD after serving in the U.S. Army from 1965 to 1967, and retired after many years of service as the supervisor of reserve officer training. Many of our veteran reserve officers attended in order to honor their former sergeant.
We thank Chief of Police Charlie Beck for once again serving as honorary chairman of the banquet. His leadership and that of the command staff, including Assistant Chief Jorge Villegas as director of the Office of Administrative Services, continues to provide invaluable support to the reserve program. In fact, this year we had more command staff in attendance than ever before. We recently welcomed Lieutenant Curtis McIntyre as the new OIC of the Reserve Unit and look forward to his contributions. And, of course, thanks to Scherr Lillico and her team at The Proper Image Events for coordinating the banquet.
Congratulations to our LAPRF 2017 Emeritus College Scholarship winners: Reserve Officer Darla Cozzarelli and Ms. Nathalia Martinez, daughter of Reserve Officer Joe Martinez. This Foundation initiative is a new way in which we can support our reserve officers.
Our recruitment initiative continues to move forward, as the campaign with Dr. Shaquille O’Neal and featured reserve officers has been expanded to billboards and bus benches.
Every day we are reminded of the challenges, and often the sacrifices, faced by those who protect and serve throughout our nation. Sometimes it hits close to home. On January 30, the LAPD family lost Reserve Police Officer Michael Wade (Harbor Area), a 29-year veteran reserve officer, who died from injuries sustained in an off-duty incident. Our thoughts are with his family, fellow officers and friends who mourn the loss of Officer Wade.
On behalf of the Los Angeles Police Reserve Foundation Board of Directors, thank you for your service and support. Be safe.