In normal times, the bulk of this issue would be dedicated to highlighting and congratulating our Reserve Officers of the Year and the honorees recognized at the Twice a Citizen gala and thanking our donors, supporters and staff who made it all possible. But these are different times, the likes of which our communities have never faced.
The gala was rescheduled to August 29. As it is increasingly looking like a traditional celebration may not be possible, a final proposal regarding what will take place was not available prior to the printing deadline of this publication. Rest assured that in some way, on August 29, LAPRF will find a way to recognize our outstanding Reserve Officers of the Year. Pencil it into your calendars! Plans are fluid, so please watch your email for further updates.
COVID-19 has caused the city of Los Angeles to shelter in place, but it has not stopped the dedication of the Reserve Corps. Many have been furloughed from their day jobs but are continuing to stand tall, wear masks and serve the citizens of Los Angeles. In the pages of this issue, you will read some of these stories, illustrated by pictures that are worth more than a thousand words. Reserve training continues with the Level I Class 1-20R scheduled to graduate in July and the Level III class scheduled this summer. Orientations to fill future classes are taking place via Zoom conferences.
LAPRF moves forward in continuing to support the Corps during these uncertain times. Some highlights include a BDU initiative to reimburse sworn reserve officers who purchased the wash-and-wear utility uniform approved for use during this time and working together with the Los Angeles Police Protective League to continue reimbursement for officers for the Legal Defense Plan initiative. This year’s LAPRF scholarships were awarded to Sarah J. Stephens, daughter of Reserve Officer Dan Stephens, and Tiffany Garces, daughter of Reserve Officer Judas Garces; she plans to follow her father’s footsteps into law enforcement. LAPRF partnered with the Parker Foundation and other LAPD foundations and associations (including Reserve Officers Craig Pfefferman and Bobby Sherman) to fund the barbershop at the Elysian Park rest and recharge station, coordinated by Captain Peter Casey. For the first time in a very long time, we were very pleased to announce our support of an all-LAPD reserve officer running team for the annual Baker to Vegas law enforcement relay run. The race’s cancellation only adds to our determination to make it happen next year. Stay tuned for the return of Team 308. The team still needs alternate runners. Now you have time to train and sign up for next year!
Our sincere thanks to our treasurer, Reserve Officer Paul Favero, who tirelessly wrote nearly 100 checks in 30 days, one by one, for the initiatives mentioned above.
Our Foundation continues to explore ways to reach out to donors and supporters, an even more critical task now that our annual fundraiser has been canceled. You can help. Send contact information for potential individual donors, businesses or foundations that could be interested in supporting the Los Angeles Police Reserve Corps to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. And please spread the word about the many ways anyone can easily help our mission, as featured at www.laprf.org/donate (Ralphs Community Rewards, Amazon Smile, eScrip, etc.).
Thank you, Chief of Police Michel Moore, Assistant Chief Robert Arcos, Commander Gerald Woodyard, Captain Aaron Ponce and the entire CODD team for your continued support. Also, a special thanks to Public Information Director II and Reserve Officer Josh Rubenstein for helping to tell the story of our reserves, and to Reserve Officer Eric Rose, who is the voice of the LAPRF’s Twitter account.
Most of all, we look forward to the day we can once again honor and celebrate together all that you and your families do. Until then, “Be safe” is without a doubt the most important phrase we can close with.