This Saturday, Oct. 18, members of the La Habra Police Department will be taking part in the annual Mothers Against Drunk Driving “Walk Like MADD” event in Huntington Beach with one special reason in mind – to honor one of their own, Officer Michael Anthony Osornio.
Tragically, Officer Osornio was killed in the line of duty on Oct. 31, 1994 when a drunk driver, traveling at a high rate of speed, ran a red light and broadsided his patrol car at the intersection of La Habra Boulevard and Beach Boulevard.
While Officer Osornio is no longer with the department, he still remains loved by many and greatly missed by all who knew him. To honor his memory, the department’s MADD team, 21 Walks for 273 was formed. The 21 is La Habra’s station number and the 273 is Officer Osornio’s badge number, says team captain, Communications Operator Elissa McDougall.
This year’s 13-member team is made up of department personnel, family members, and friends. McDougall says that the team annually strives to be the highest fundraiser of the law enforcement teams that participate in the Huntington Beach event. This year they are already at $1,985.00, but would certainly welcome addition contributions.
“The death of Officer Osornio was a major blow to our department at the time,” LHPD Chief Jerry Price said. “I’m happy that 20 years after his death, we continue to honor his life in many meaningful ways.”
The walk is just one of a number of ways Officer Osornio has been remembered. Each year, at the police department’s annual awards and commendations ceremony, the officer who has made the most DUI arrests is recognized with an award in Osornio’s name. Michael’s mother and his sister present the award at these ceremonies.
Beach Boulevard has been dedicated as the La Habra Police Officer Michael Anthony Osornio Memorial Highway and the City of La Habra now has Osornio Park at 1500 Hacienda Road. The La Habra Police Association has also established an annual Osornio scholarship program as well.
This year’s Walk like MADD event will take place Oct. 18 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Huntington Beach. “Walk Like MADD” is Mothers Against Drunk Driving’s signature 5K to raise funds and awareness to support programs to eliminate drunk driving, prevent underage drinking and help victims and their families (click here for event details).