As 2019 draws to a close, we continue to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Los Angeles Police Department. Much of this issue focuses on the history of the LAPD Reserve Corps, which became an official part of the Department in 1947.
The reserve program was highlighted in September at the Jack Webb Awards ceremony, which supports the Los Angeles Police Museum. During the event’s 150th anniversary celebration, three of the four honorees were from our reserve program: our very own Karla Ahmanson, co-president of this Foundation since 2013 and Board member since 2005; Reserve Officer Bill Ahmanson, president of The Ahmanson Foundation, who originally joined the Department as a line reserve officer in 1986 and recently returned to the Corps, assigned to Olympic Area; and Reserve Officer Kenji Inaba, professor and clinical scholar of surgery at the University of Southern California, who serves as the LAPD’s chief surgeon, assigned to Rampart Area.
Mark your calendars for our 2020 Reserve Officer of the Year/Twice a Citizen Gala: May 2, 2020, at the Skirball Cultural Center. After this past year’s gala, we have continued with our initiatives. Recruitment of course remains a key initiative. We are working with Captain Aaron Ponce and his team to bring awareness of the reserve program to the Los Angeles community. Please consider working our recruiting events. It is a rewarding experience to mentor candidates throughout the process, and to see their faces and those of their families when they pin on the badge for the first time. Two of our reserve recruiters, Reserve Officers Bert Szathmary and Fred Roa, with 37 and 30 years of service respectively, recently retired. We sincerely thank them for their service. Reserve Officer Marcus Stein has stepped up, but he could use your help.
We are pleased to announce that our Scholarship and Legal Defense Plan initiatives will continue into 2020. Under our Training initiative, we are entering our second year of reimbursing reserve officers for training offered by the Peace Officers Association of Los Angeles County (POALAC). Training reimbursements this year also included the Undercover Operations Symposium offered by the Protective League. The LAPRF reimburses up to the early-bird cost of the attendance fee for CRPOA’s Annual Reserve Peace Officers’ Conference (ARPOC). This is great way to get your CPT in-service training hours for the two-year cycle!
For the first time in a long time, an all-LAPD reserve officer team is being entered in Baker to Vegas for 2020, Team 308. This Foundation is looking forward to supporting the team. Besides runners and alternates, logistical support is needed! We place this under our Morale initiative, with team-building that brings a spotlight to the reserve program. Additionally, we will be supporting our reserves participating in the upcoming Police Unity Tour, honoring law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty.
Thank you to our donors for continuing to support these initiatives. This September, the Foundation was once again named a Great Nonprofit by greatnonprofits.org, for the sixth year in a row. And we continue to be ranked with a Gold Seal of Transparency by GuideStar, the leading directory for philanthropic organizations. These seals of approval add to our credibility with the donor community.
We are cultivating a donor who we hope will provide funding to supply some lifesaving equipment to all reserve officers. This equipment, which hopefully will never be used by you or your partner, is part of our Equipment initiative.
As you may know, Co-President Michael Sellars retired as a CD-Level I reserve police officer after 26 years of service on August 14, 2019. He reflects, “They say you know when it’s the right time. I knew it was time. I will continue to serve on the Foundation, helping to support the Reserve Corps. Thank you, Officer Johnny Gil, for helping me though the process! It meant so much! I appreciated it beyond words. I am grateful to have called Hollywood Area my Department home from when I graduated to my EOW. During my last reserve meeting on July 26 at HWD, Karla Ahmanson and Assistant Chief Beatrice Girmala — two great friends and longtime partners — made a surprise appearance that I will cherish forever. I learned later about the loss of Police Officer Juan Jose Diaz on the 27th. The gravity of that moment will stay with me forever.”
On behalf of our Board of Directors, we wish you a happy and safe holiday season. Thank you to Chief of Police Michel Moore, the command staff and everyone at the Reserve Unit for their continued support of our LAPD reserve police officers. Most of all, we thank you and your families for your service. It is an extraordinary thing that you do, and you deserve the recognition and support that is equally above and beyond.