The names of the five fallen officers were repeated 12 times by speakers during the hour-long ceremony.
Sgt. Myron L. Trapp
Reserve Officer Andy Reese
Officer Donald Reed
Officer Michael Rainford
Master Officer Howard Dallies, Jr.
The effect was a kind of prayer — a prayer for the fallen five, and a prayer for police officers everywhere.
“The noble bravery of these officers is equaled only by the profound courage of their families to accept their tragic loss,” Capt. Ben Stauffer told the crowd at the Garden Grove Police Department’s 28th Annual Memorial Service.
“They are the names, lives and sacrifices that remain a permanent part of our city’s history,” Stauffer said at the June 11 ceremony.
Garden Grove has the somber distinction of having lost more officers in the line of duty than any other municipal law enforcement agency in Orange County.
Two of the five cops were killed in the same year — 1980.
Trapp was killed Oct. 6, 1959 while responding to a call of an assault with a deadly weapon. A suspect with a rifle fired once through the door of his residence, fatally striking Trapp.
Reese was killed May 30, 1970 by an impatient motorist who was trying to pass slow-moving cars at the Strawberry Festival Parade. Reese had been directing traffic.
Reed was killed June 7, 1980 while serving a felony arrest warrant at a bar. The suspect shot him in the chest with a semi-automatic handgun.
Rainford was killed Nov. 7, 1980 on a freeway onramp during a traffic stop. A drunk driver struck him.
Dallies Jr. was killed March 9, 1993 after stopping a man on a motorcycle. As Dallies Jr. approached the motorcycle, the man fired six shots at Dallies Jr., striking him four times.
Every year, usually in May, the GGPD honors the five officers with a ceremony at Memorial Plaza, located in front of police headquarters on Acacia Parkway. Rain last month postponed this year’s ceremony.
Families of the fallen officers joined current and retired police officers from several agencies, Garden Grove PD recruits and others at the poignant ceremony.
The ceremony began with the presentation of colors by the Garden Grove PD Honor Guard and Nicholson Pipes and Drums, followed by the Bolsa Grande High School Concert Choir singing the national anthem.
After GGPD Chaplain Cheryl Raine gave an invocation, members of the honor guard took turns ringing a memorial bell in honor of each fallen officer as their names were read out and the stories of how they died were told.
The Bolsa Grande choir then sang “God Bless America,” followed by guest speaker Clarke Paris, a U.S. Navy veteran, retired police sergeant (Las Vegas Metropolitan PD) and author on police issues.
Paris talked about the challenges faced by cops.
He called officers “the thread in the blue cloth that separates good from evil” and called policing the most dangerous job, both physically and psychologically.
He urged those in attendance to thank an officer the next time the opportunity presents itself.
The Bolsa Grande choir then sang “Oh How Beautiful This Finely Woven Earth,” followed by remarks from Garden Grove Police Chief Todd Elgin, who was sworn in as chief this year.
Elgin talked about how the profession of policing is under attack and said he is “frustrated” by the way cops are being portrayed in the mass media.
“Don’t let the misled perceptions of the vocal minority take you out of your game,” Elgin told officers and cadets and recruits. “We need to continue to stay engaged and evolve.”
Garden Grove PD Chaplain James Scheller made the closing benediction, which was followed by a 21-gun salute and the playing of “Taps” and the presentation of a riderless horse (GGPD Officer Taylor Macy and Cadillac).
Before the ceremony, Elgin was asked why the Garden Grove PD chooses to honor Trapp, Reese, Reed, Rainford and Dallies Jr. every year.
“Because I think if we don’t,” said Elgin, “we forget.”