They are more than simply names on a memorial.
Sgt. Myron L. Trapp was an aficionado of Western movies and books and cooked up chili hot enough to set your mouth ablaze.
Reserve Officer Andy Reese had a passion for old cars, played the trombone, and was a fine athlete.
Officer Donald Reed was a magician and once performed at the famed Magic Castle in Hollywood.
Officer Michael Rainford was a generous man and always cheerful.
Master Officer Howard Dallies, Jr. was a gentle giant who loved a cup of tea before going 10-8.
While their personalities were unique, they have a few things in common.
They all donned a uniform and a badge for the Garden Grove Police Department and they all sacrificed their own lives to keep their community safe.
They are also Garden Grove PD’s Fallen Five, honored for the 31st year at the agency’s annual Call to Duty Police Memorial remembrance on May 17.
The dignified and polished service took place front of the department’s Call to Duty Memorial – a life-size bronze statue of an officer on one knee, bowing his head and holding a folded United States flag.
Hundreds of police officers and recruits from throughout Southern California were in attendance, as were family members of the fallen officers.
“I think it is a great tribute to the families and the fallen officers,” said Bill Reese of Napa, who was 26 when his father, Officer Andy Reese, was struck and killed by a car while directing traffic at the city’s Strawberry Festival in 1970.
The guest speaker was San Bernardino Police Officer Shaun Sandoval, a former Garden Grove PD Explorer, who was among the first responders to the Dec. 2, 2015 terrorist attack at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino, when 14 were killed and 22 others seriously injured.
“I couldn’t help but think this is going to be a fight for my life to save the lives of others,” Sandoval said, reflecting back to the moments before he entered the center. “As officers, we must be ready to protect the lives of others, even if it means sacrificing our own.”
Sandoval also spoke of the emotional scars he contended with in the weeks and months after the incident.
“I was not afraid to admit that, yes, I do need help,” he said. “I was not afraid to see a counselor to help me to come to terms and understand what I had experienced.”
GGPD chief Todd Elgin didn’t attend the memorial due to a last-minute emergency.
But the talk Elgin was to give was read aloud by Cpt. Tom DaRe.
“This memorial plaza behind me is a powerful reminder of the loss we feel as an agency, and the dangers we face as law enforcement professionals every day,” said DaRe, reading Elgin’s speech. “We should never take the service and sacrifice of our policing professionals for granted. Nor should we ever forget the officers who died and their families.”
Elgin’s speech also pointed out that Garden Grove PD has lost more officers in the line of duty than any municipal agency in the county.
The chief also lamented recent legislation which allows convicted felons to leave prison early, contributing to rising crime rates and a spike in the homeless population.
“Many of these lawmakers have failed to recognize the importance and dangerous work that police officers do on a daily basis,” Elgin wrote.
The memorial featured bagpipers from Nicholson Pipes and Drums, a riderless horse to symbolize the fallen officers, performances by the Bolsa Grande High School Chorus, a 21-gun salute, and the playing of “Taps.”
Garden Grove PD’s Fallen Five:
Sgt. Myron Trapp
On Oct. 6, 1959, Trapp was responding to a call involving a man who was angry at noise made by a road crew working on the street in front of his house. Trapp was trying to talk the man out of the house when a fellow officer walked toward the front door. The man fired the rifle through the door. The shot missed the first officer and struck Trapp, killing him.
Officer Andy Reese
On May 30, 1970, Reese, a reserve officer, was directing traffic during the Strawberry Festival when an impatient driver sped past slow-moving traffic and struck Reese, killing him.
Officer Donald Reed
Reed and three fellow officers entered a bar to serve an arrest warrant on a man on June 7, 1980. Reed was escorting the man out the back door when the man drew and fired a semi-automatic handgun, striking Reed in the chest and killing him.
Officer Michael Rainford
Rainford was on patrol on Nov 7, 1980, when he was conducting a routine traffic stop on a 22 freeway on-ramp when he was struck and killed by a drunk driver.
Master Officer Howard Dallies, Jr.
On March 9, 1993, Dallies pulled over a motorcycle on Aldgate Street. As Dallies walked towards the motorcycle, the driver fired six shots at the officer, hitting him four times. He was rushed to the hospital, where he died from the wounds.