April was Reserve Appreciation Month at the LAPD. But this year was different, in that the Department ramped up a few of the activities. Detective III Damien Levesque, in the Chief’s office, spearheaded these efforts.
A seven-minute video highlighting reserve officers was produced by the Office of the Chief of Police, and features Chief Beck noting that 2015 marks 40 years since he started with the Department as a reserve himself. Filmmaker/Officer Joel Morales’ talents resulted in a high-quality video that has been viewed by 13,000 people on the LAPRF’s Facebook page, with the video post reaching nearly 45,000 people around the world.
The video was played on a large screen in the PAB lobby, as part of the reserve appreciation display that included life-sized cardboard cutouts of Officers Doten and Widmann, symbolizing their “double lives”: One side dressed in their LAPD uniforms; the other side dressed for their primary careers.
The lobby display included the uniform of Reserve Officer Paul V. Martinez, who served in the Corps from 1951 to 1993. The uniform had the old diamond-shaped badge, reserve shoulder patches and white hat. Also on display was the Twice-a-Citizen Community Leader Award presented to former LAPRF President Mel Kennedy in 2014.
On April 9, the Office of the Chief held a reserve media day, as part of the Chief’s media availability/press conference. Chief Beck spoke about the Reserve Corps, appreciation month and the annual Twice-a-Citizen banquet, which was held two nights later, on April 11.
Several reserve officers from different divisions and specialties were on hand. Retired K-9 Thor seemed to get most of the attention afterward, as the media cameras surrounded him and his handler, Specialist Michael Pitt.
The LAPRF thanks Chief of Police Charlie Beck for once again recognizing the Corps; Captain Ruby F. Malachi, assistant commanding officer, Media Relations and Community Affairs Group; the Office of the Chief of Police, and all the officers in the OCOP, Community Relations Section.