Mountain Views News, Sierra Madre Edition [Pasadena] Saturday, May 26, 2018

MVNews this week:  Page B:1


SATURDAY, MAY 26, 2018



By Joan Schmidt

Remembering fallen peace officers occurs at local, state and 
national ceremonies. Peace Officers Memorial Day is May 
15th, and Police Week is the week in which Peace Officers 
Memorial Day occurs. This tribute began on October 1, 
1961 when Congress asked President John F. Kennedy to 
designate May 15 to honor peace officers, and he quickly 
signed the bill. 

 Besides recognizing fallen peace officers as a nation, 
special tribute has occurred in Sacramento since 1977 with 
California Peace Officer Memorial Ceremonies. There is 
a beautiful bronze monument of three standing figures, 
representing an 1880’s County Sheriff, a 1930’s state trooper 
and a 1980’s city policeman looking down at a life-sized 
figure of a woman comforting a child sitting on a bench, 
representing the grief-stricken families left behind. 

Locally, the Sheriff’s Department begins its tribute with 
the annual three-day Memorial Torch Relay Run totaling 
339 miles and stopping at each mainland station. Also the 
Avalon Station has its relay run on Catalina Island. 

 On May 23, Sheriff Jim Mc Donnell presided at the 49th 
Annual Los Angeles County Peace Officers Memorial. This 
year, five names were added to the wall. They included: 
LASD Deputy Steven Belanger, EOW: February 2, 2018. 
From the past, Officer Murray F. Olsen, LA County 
Department of Hospitals, EOW: March 9, 1975; LAPD 
Policeman Frank L. Coe, EOW: February 11, 1921; LASD 
Motorcycle Officer Louis Allinson, EOW: March 27,1913; 
Vernon PD Deputy City Marshall Maurice W. Halleran, 
EOW: November 15, 1913.

 The Memorial Service was beautiful and well attended; 
the Sheriff spoke of the brave fallen officers and their 
sacrifice, and their families left behind. The Memorial Torch 
was handed to the Sheriff, doves released, a beautiful wreath 
for each fallen officer, and the honor guard of officers from 
many agencies.

 Besides commemorating and recognizing these officers 
the Peace Officers’ Memorial Wall was dedicated to the 530 
officers whose names are on the wall.

 The first wall had been dedicated in 1970 at the Biscailuz 
Center by Sheriff Peter Pritchess; there were 253 men’s 
names, but no women’s. In 1984, the Sheriff’s Academy was 
moved to Whittier, and Sheriff Sherman Block dedicated 
the second Peace Officers’ Memorial. For the next thirty 
years, the Memorial was held in Whittier.

 In 2014, the Sheriff’s Academy left Whittier and returned 
to its original home, the Biscailuz Training Center; it also 
was decided to return the Memorial. Unlike the Memorial 
in Whittier that faced the main courtyard, this Memorial 
overlooks the “grinder”, where men and women striving to 
become peace officers of the future are trained and tested.

 This Memorial Wall is not just a place to recognize the 
fallen officers, but also to recognize and remember those 
left behind. It is truly a humbling experience to attend this 
Memorial and see the beautiful wall.

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Foothill Unity Center will realize a decades-long 
dream when it unveils its first permanent building at at 
709 West Chestnut Avenue in Monrovia on Thursday, 
May 17. The ceremony will begin at 5:30 p.m., with the 
ribbon cutting at 6 p.m. The facility is six blocks west of 
the organization’s prior leased location.

 The Center, the primary provider of food, case 
management/crisis help, and access to health care 
resources across eleven San Gabriel Valley cities, has 
worked out of leased facilities throughout its 38-year 
history. At its previous headquarters, operations were 
divided between two small buildings a block apart. 
The current purchase is being funded through public 
donations to a capital campaign, From Dream to 
Reality. To date, $XX million of the $6.2 million total 
has been secured, with vigorous fundraising efforts 

 The much larger facility vastly enhances the 
capabilities of the organization’s staff, volunteers and 
award-winning programs. “We can now talk privately 
with clients, rather than in shared offices or public 
spaces,” says Center Director Betty McWilliams. 
“Our food trucks can deliver directly into the 
building, including our cold storage facilities. There 
is an elevator for accessibility, and an array of spaces 
where volunteers, board members and other groups 
can meet and collaborate. Two kitchens will improve 
our presentation of food education programs and 
cooking demonstrations for clients. And in contrast to 
the limited short-term street parking at our previous 
location, our new home features a spacious parking 

 Founded in a borrowed church closet in 1980, 
Foothill Unity Center is now the federally designated 
Community Action Agency for the Foothill Area 
and the primary provider of food, temporary shelter, 
transportation, referrals, and a variety of health 
services to low-income children, individuals and 
families in Monrovia, Arcadia, Duarte, Pasadena, 
Altadena, South Pasadena, Sierra Madre, Bradbury, 
Azusa, Baldwin Park and Irwindale. The Center has 
steadily expanded its programs and grown its client 
base, which more than tripled over the last five years. 
79% of clients are at or below the National Poverty 

 The Center’s overall goal is to help families gain 
stability as they strive toward self-sufficiency, while 
treating every client with love and dignity. With the 
establishment of its new home, meeting that objective 
will take on new dimensions. 

Katie Orth626.688.0418 
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