The Garden Grove Police Department Memorial Service is held each year in conjunction with National Peace Officers Week to honor the memory of the five Garden Grove Police Officers who have died in the line of duty. It is a time of reflection and a time to remember the officers as human beings, not as statistics. Each officer left behind a family, and that family continues to suffer the loss of their loved one. In that respect, the service also honors the families and lets them know they have not been forgotten.
The memorial is also an educational tool. The death of each officer is an important part of the history of Garden Grove and through the memorial service, the legacy of each officer is passed on to the employees and citizens of Garden Grove.
The Garden Grove Police Department has the somber distinction of having lost more officers than any other municipal police agency in Orange County. In 1980, the department lost two officers in five months.
In the early 1980's, the Stardusters, an association of Garden Grove Police Officers' wives, planted four trees to honor the four Garden Grove Police Officers who had been killed in the line of duty. A brief ceremony was held and brass plaques were erected in front of the trees. Each plaque is inscribed with the name of a fallen officer and the date of his death. This was considered the first memorial service held by the department to honor the officers.
Memorial sites were dedicated in Orange County (1986) and Sacramento (1988), and in 1989 the Garden Grove Police Department formalized its memorial ceremony. In 1990, Garden Grove Elks Lodge #1952 and the Garden Grove Police Association erected a wall to identify the area on the east side of the police department building as the department's official memorial site.
The wall was recently removed due to construction and a new memorial to our fallen officers has been built. The new memorial site includes a life size statue of a police officer and serves as a constant reminder of the sacrifice each officer made.
Washington, D.C., was chosen as the site for a national memorial to law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty and an aggressive fund raising effort was initiated. The result of that effort is the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Judiciary Square, dedicated in 1991 by President Bush.
The Garden Grove Police Department's annual memorial service brings together employees, citizens, students, and organizations. Music is provided by local high school choirs, colleges, and individuals. Guest speakers have included politicians, police psychologists, judges, law enforcement support groups, and members of the Stardusters. The memorial ceremony serves to preserve the memory of the fallen officers and their families.
If they are forgotten, then they have died twice.
And if they are forgotten,
then they have died in vain.
Sergeant Myron L. Trapp
On October 6, 1959, Myron Trapp and other officers responded to a call of an assault with a deadly weapon. A man watching a baseball game on TV was upset with a road crew working on the street in front of his house and fired two shots from a rifle in their direction. Sergeant Trapp tried to talk the suspect out of the house using a P.A. system. As another officer approached the front door, Sergeant Trapp saw the suspect walking toward the front door with the rifle. Sergeant Trapp ran to the front to warn the other officer and the suspect fired once through the door. The bullet passed through the first officer and struck Sergeant Trapp, fatally wounding him.
Officer Andy Reese
Andy Reese was one of the first Reserve Officers to work for the City of Garden Grove. He had retired from the military, moved to Garden Grove, and joined the police department. He was a professional Reserve Officer who could do it all. In the early years of the department, all new officers were required to ride with Reserve Officer Reese as a requirement before being sent to an academy. On May 30, 1970, Reserve Officer Andy Reese was directing traffic at Brookhurst and Trask during the Strawberry Festival Parade. An impatient motorist decided to pass the slow moving traffic and struck Andy Reese, fatally injuring him.
Officer Donald F. Reed
Donald Reed began his law enforcement career as a Garden Grove Police Officer in 1977. Don Reed quickly earned a reputation as a street wise police officer with incredible expertise in narcotics, and other officers often sought out his expertise in dealing with narcotic offenders. On June 7, 1980, Officer Reed and three other officers entered the Cripple Creek Bar to serve a felony arrest warrant on a man in the bar. Officer Reed talked to the subject and began to escort him to the back door to prevent an incident inside the bar. As they walked out the door, the man turned and fired a semi-automatic handgun and struck Officer Reed in the chest, fatally wounding him.
Officer Michael Rainford
Michael Rainford began his law enforcement career with the Garden Grove Police Department as a Reserve Officer. Mike Rainford quickly earned the respect and trust of all who worked with him and was noted for his ever present smile and cheerful personality. On November 7, 1980, Officer Mike Rainford was on patrol when he saw a traffic violation on Harbor Blvd. and followed the violator onto the westbound Garden Grove Freeway on-ramp. It was a normal car stop for a traffic violation, however Officer Rainford never made it to the violator. He was struck by a drunk driver and fatally injured.
Master Officer Howard Dallies
Howard Dallies began his law enforcement career with the Orange County Sheriffs Department and went to the Placentia Police Department before becoming a Garden Grove Police Officer five years later. Officer Dallies was noted for being a quiet, patient, and a sincerely polite man. On March 9, 1993, at approximately 2:45 am, Master Officer Howard Dallies stopped the driver of a motorcycle on Aldgate Street, east of Brookhurst. As Officer Dallies approached the motorcycle, the driver fired six shots at Dallies, striking him four times. Master Officer Dallies was rushed to the hospital, where he died from his wounds.