Retirement Party - Mitch Tavera

My academy partner and friend Mitch Tavera retired as Chief of Police and I went out to the party. It was great seeing a lot of co-workers and reminicing. Here’s an academy graduation picture of Mitch and I along with Chris Barrett, who was shot and paralyzed in the line of duty. I actually took Chris’s spot on the roster when he retired and I promoted from a PSO.

When the Northridge earthquake happened in 1994, There were 4 Sergeants from El Segundo living in Santa Clarita at the time. Al Graham, bottom right, was a motorcycle Sgt. and was enroute to work. In front of him was LAPD motor officer Clarence Wayne Dean,. At 4:31 A.M., the earthquake happened. Al was about 1/4 mile behind Officer Dean. The Newhall Pass on the I-14 freeway and the I-5 collapsed, and officer Dean unknowingly drove off the pass and died. Al knew it was a big earthquake, and turned around to check on his wife Marie and his daughter. That saved his life.

Since the pass was impassible, the 4 of us had to take the Metrolink train into work for about 5 months until they rebuilt the freeway. The local paper, the Signal, did an article in the paper about the 4 of us. We recreated the picture at the reunion. ,

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Mike Mitchell’s outstanding art work

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My buddy Scott Armstrong