Remembering Specialist James Garner

By Reserve Officer Paul Favero

Everyone heard the sad news about the passing of James Garner on July 19, 2014. But I bet not everyone knows that at one time he was a specialist with the LAPD Reserve Corps. I remember a time in the 1980s when “Care n Share” was an annual event put on by the Reserve Corps for the Union Rescue Mission. Early one Saturday morning, I was up at the Elysian Park Academy, helping to load the trucks before we left for the Union Rescue Mission. Who was helping to carry boxes of clothes out of a storage shed and loading the truck? James Garner. James Garner was the emcee one year for our Twice a Citizen dinner. He asked his friend Mac Davis to come and perform. Mac Davis came, apologized that he might not be as good as he used to be, since he hadn’t performed live in a while, but said when his good friend Jimmy asked him to come, he couldn’t say no. He will be missed.

Editor’s note: This article was originally posted on the Foundation’s Facebook page on July 20. Here are some of the subsequent comments that were made:

Fred Roa: “Sgt. Kellar was looking at him to go thru the Tech class but his schedule would not allow him to commit the hours for the Academy course. No shortcuts. I enjoyed meeting and talking with him. FYI: He did his own stunts.”

Butch Rager: “I did James Garner’s background when he applied to be a specialist reserve. Few people know what a tough guy he was. He had received two Purple Hearts while serving in Korea. I got to know Jim while he invited me and Rudy Aranda on the set of Maverick and he gave us small parts in the series Rockford Files. He was a kind, down-to-earth person who will be missed by all. RIP, sir!”

Melvin Kennedy: “Rest in Peace, Specialist Reserve Officer James Garner. James did whatever he could to support us and proudly served as Master of Ceremonies honoring the reserves at our Annual Reserve of the Year Banquet.”