Garden Grove Police Sgt. Myron L. Trapp loved Western books and movies, “and he yodeled – perfectly,” according to his daughter, Christina Trapp Metcalf. And she added: “He made the hottest chili in the world.”
Officer Andy Reese was an athlete and also a Navy man. And he loved cars.
Officer Donald F. Reed was “a jokester” who loved card tricks so much, he would do them at briefings – and was so good, he performed at Hollywood’s Magic Castle.
Officer Michael Rainford was known for his dazzling smile and sunshiny disposition – and loved to share that with others.
Master Officer Howard Dallies, Jr., was a real go-getter, with a can-do attitude — a gentle giant considered to be “a cop’s cop.”
These are Garden Grove PD’s “Fallen Five” – killed in the line of duty and honored annually at the Police Memorial Ceremony, now in its 30th year.
Attracting several hundred friends, family and colleagues of the fallen officers, the May 18 event – held in front of the GGPD station’s “Call to Duty” Police Memorial dedicated to the Fallen Five – began with a 20-minute video produced by Garden Grove TV3, focusing on the lives of the five officers, as recalled by friends and family members.
Following a presentation by the GGPD Honor Guard, Nicholson Pipes and Drums, a riderless horse, “The National Anthem” by Miss Garden Grove Missy Mendoza and the invocation, emcee Capt. Ed Leiva described the incidents that led to each of the Fallen Five’s deaths.
“Five officers whose memories are etched in the hearts of their families and those who knew them,” Leiva said.
After each description, the Memorial Bell was tolled and a bouquet and plaque were presented to the fallen officer’s family.
“These five men gave their lives so that the citizens of this fine city of Garden Grove could be safer,” said GGPD Chief Todd Elgin.
Elgin added that Garden Grove has lost more officers than any other municipal agency in Orange County.
“Violent confrontations have become all too familiar,” he said, citing the 2016 Dallas shootings and the more local losses of Whittier Police Officer Keith Boyer and Palm Springs Police Department Officers Lesley Zerebny and Jose Gilbert Vega.
He added that recent changes in state law, budgetary constraints and certain groups on social media encouraging resistance to law enforcement are all working to making the job of policing much more difficult.
“As law enforcement officers, we must continue to push the strategy of community policing,” he said. “We stand as the guardian of our community.”
He said though a police officer’s uniform conveys a sense of power and authority to people, “the reality is, we are not different than any of you here today.”
He said to members of law enforcement: “You will have a front-row seat in the lives of people… Be kind and treat people with respect… But be disciplined in your training and never let your guard down.”
The chief said officers must do everything in their power to never add another name to the agency’s fallen officer memorial.
“The sacrifice of these five men behind me will never be forgotten,” he said.
Whittier Police Chief Jeff Piper and retired California Highway Patrol Officer David Kling, Zerebny’s father, also spoke about the recent tragedies.
Piper said Boyer was a longtime friend and an inspiration. He also was an avid drummer.
“To the officers here this evening, keep fighting the good fight,” Piper said.
Kling lost his daughter, Zerebny, on Oct. 8, 2016. She had just returned from maternity leave.
“She was a great cop,” he said. “She loved being a police officer.”