Presidents’ Message – Summer 2024

We hope you enjoyed the 2024 Gala on May 4 at the Skirball Cultural Center as we honored our Reserve Officers of the Year nominees and Twice a Citizen honorees Lisa Specht and Jim McDonnell. Congratulations to Department Reserve Officer of the Year Warren Dern.

Thank you to Chief of Police Dominic Choi for your support of the reserve program and for co-hosting the Gala, along with KTLA News anchor Wendy Burch and Mark Thompson of KFI Radio and The New Mark Thompson Show podcast.

The Los Angeles Police Reserve Foundation (LAPRF) continues to serve those who serve with our ongoing initiatives, including training, equipment, recruitment, scholarships, reimbursement of the Los Angeles Police Protective League’s Legal Defense, financial hardship, bereavement assistance, and of course, the Gala. Full details on our funding initiatives can be found on page 26. Additionally, as The Rotator was going to press, the LAPRF achieved “Great Nonprofit” status for 2024 for the eighth year in a row. See page 25 for more information.

The LAPRF Board of Directors appreciates LAPD Police Commission President Erroll Southers for the Commission’s support of the reserve program; Commander Gisselle Espinoza, the Department reserve coordinator; and the entire command staff for their leadership. We are grateful to Sergeant II Johnny Johnson and all the officers in the Reserve Unit downtown, as well as the reserve coordinators Department-wide for all you do to support the Reserve Corps.

As many of you know, the week after the Gala was difficult for our Reserve Corps. On the Sunday after the Gala, an off-duty LAPD reserve officer sustained a gunshot wound from a stray bullet in a non-officer-involved incident. Thankfully, he is OK and recovering. Days later, we had three funerals: one for Reserve Officer Ivan Wolkind, assigned to the WLA Area, who passed away suddenly and unexpectedly, one for retired Technical Reserve Officer Muriel I. Bode, who had 19 years of service, and one for retired P3+1 Frank Pettinato, a leader of reserves who became one himself in 2007, who had passed away in April. As tragic as these moments were, it was a reminder that the Corps is a family — that we all came together and our Foundation was there to help. We speak for our Board when we say this is the most gratifying part of what we do. Stay safe.

John Emerson, Karla Ahmanson, Lisa Specht, Chief of Police Dominic Choi, Michael Sellars and Jim McDonnell. Specht and McDonnell were this year’s community leader honorees at the 2024 Gala.