Presidents’ Message – Winter 2020

The year 2020 has been unprecedented in so many ways. It’s still hard to find the words. As COVID-19 hit, the gala was postponed, and it soon became clear that it would have to be postponed indefinitely. Then, that same month in May, the protests and civil unrest erupted and spread across the country. And then … the LAPD Reserve Corps stood up again.

As Karla said at the virtual gala in August, “During these times, what is particularly impressive was the response to the unrest by reserve officers. Assistant Chief Robert Arcos gave the Corps the choice to report for duty or stay home (to do what’s best for you and your families). Well, they reported — in droves. Practically every division benefited from reserves. Many who I know worked shifts lasting over 24 hours, rested and went back for more … On the second night, while stopped at an intersection in Hollywood, I looked over, and there was [Reserve Officer and LAPRF Board Director] Bernard Khalili, with a shop loaded with reserves. We got out to snap a quick picture, and yet another shop pulled up with, yup, even more reserves … dedication.”

There are many stories like this documented in these pages. The virtual gala was the way to honor you this year. The online event was also a way for us to reach out to supporters and donors since the annual dinner has always been an essential way for us to fundraise to fuel our mission. We thank Scherr Lillico and her Proper Image Special Events team for reimagining under the circumstances and producing what turned out to be a very successful event.

It might be assumed that the pandemic and the unrest has put a damper on our activities. This could not be further from the truth. Please review the sidebar of Foundation initiatives, both continuing and newly implemented this year by our Board. From our partnerships to establish a temporary barbershop at Elysian Park with Captain Peter Casey to the popular BDU grant initiative, we have been here for you to keep you safe.

It goes without saying that we could not do this without our ongoing partnership with the Los Angeles Police Department. Thank you to Chief of Police Michel Moore and the Command Staff for their continued support. This is a testament to the long-term working relationships they have had with so many of you. In the “gala” article, you will read heartfelt comments by Chief Moore, Assistant Chief Robert Arcos and Commander Gerald Woodyard, as well as a few well-known folks. Thank you to Captain Aaron Ponce and his team at CODD, including Lieutenant Curtis McIntyre, Sergeant Cornel Sandoz, Sergeant Keith Mott, Officers Johnny Gil, Belinda Quezada, Rosheen Bourke-Rosenblum and so many others.

We congratulate retired Reserve Officer Robert Glucroft, named director emeritus, after stepping down from our Board with 20 years of faithful service. And we welcome Director Ryan Cassidy as the secretary of the Board. On behalf of our Board of Directors, we wish you and your family happy holidays as this unprecedented year comes to a close. We sincerely hope that we will all be able to get together next year, on April 24, at the Skirball Cultural Center to celebrate with good friends the extraordinary stories and legacy of the LAPD Reserve Corps. As always, be safe.