Journalist and Dateline Correspondent Josh Mankiewicz to Host the Above & Beyond Ceremony
WHAT: Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) Chief Charlie Beck will present the Department’s highest honors to 57 recipients at the “Above & Beyond” Medal of Valor, Purple Heart and Preservation of Life Awards Ceremony. Journalist and Dateline Correspondent, Josh Mankiewicz will emcee the event and vividly narrate this year’s stories of heroism.
WHEN: Thursday, September 8, 2016 11:30 a.m. Luncheon 12:15 p.m. Awards Ceremony
WHERE: Westin Bonaventure Hotel – California Ballroom 404 S. Figueroa Street Los Angeles, California 90071
WHO: Mayor Eric Garcetti Los Angeles Chief of Police Charlie Beck Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer Los Angeles City Controller Ron Galperin Los Angeles Councilmember Joe Buscaino, Council District 15 Los Angeles Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson Council District 8 Los Angeles Councilmember Jose Huizar Council District 14 Los Angeles Councilmember Nury Martinez Council District 6 Los Angeles Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell Council District 13 Los Angeles Councilmember Curren D. Price Council District 9 Los Angeles Fire Chief Ralph Terrazas Los Angeles Board of Police Commissioners President Matthew Johnson Los Angeles Board of Police Commissioners Vice President Steve Soboroff Los Angeles Board of Police Commissioners Sandra Figueroa-Villa Los Angeles Inspector General Alexander Bustamante Master of Ceremonies Josh Mankiewicz, Journalist, DateLine
WHY: To recognize real-life events that exemplify exceptional stories of bravery and heroism.
During the awards presentation, audience members will hear about officers facing harrowing, deadly circumstances in the line of duty as they protect and serve. These larger-than-life encounters include:
• When Officers Stan Kensic and Frank Tomlinson stopped two burglary suspects in Southwest Division on April 27, 1962. The detention quickly escalated when a group of 25 men surrounded the officers and began to brutally beat and shoot them. As a result of the attack, Officer Kensic fell into a coma and was hospitalized for several months. Once recovered, Kensic returned to full duty and eventually retired as a Captain. Tomlinson underwent several surgeries to correct the damage caused from the gunshot wounds. He too returned to full duty and retired as a Detective III.
• On April 30, 1993, an LAPD officer pursued an armed robbery suspect who grabbed a 12 year-old girl, placed the barrel of a pistol to her head and drove away from the scene. Responding to the “Back-up” call, West Traffic Division Motor Officer Stephen Kehoe arrived to the location and a gun battle erupted. Making every effort to protect the young hostage, Officer Kehoe bravely stood in front of the suspect’s car and in the direct line of fire of the suspect shot him in the right thigh and left shoulder. Despite his wounds, Officer Kehoe jumped back on his motorcycle and pursued the fleeing suspect. The suspect was soon taken into custody and the young girl was reunited with her family.
• When off-duty Officer Vincent Ortiz, drove his family back from Disneyland on February 27, 2016, and witnessed a horrific fiery crash. Officer Ortiz immediately pulled over and ran to the cries for help from a trapped motorist. Ortiz pulled the motorist 30 feet away to safety, just moments before the involved vehicles exploded.
• The shooting that took place in small quarters on March 24, 2014, when Officers Sheila Sparkman and Josue Pena responded to a radio call of a domestic disturbance in Hollywood Division. As the suspect fired at the officers, one of the bullets shattered a large mirror, causing bullet fragments, mirrored glass, and wood from the doorframe to strike Officer Sparkman’s face and eyes. Her partner, Officer Pena, pulled her from the bathroom and guided her to safety.
• The shooting of a Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) Officer Nelson Fong on August 18, 2014, when SWAT and Metropolitan K-9 Officers responded to 77th Division, to assist with the search of two suspects who opened fire on officers with an assault rifle.
ADDITIONAL: The mission of the LAPF is to create partnerships to provide resources and programs that help the LAPD perform at their highest level and to enhance LAPD-community relations. Since its founding in 1998, the LAPF has invested more than $25 million in grants to the LAPD in the areas of equipment and technology upgrades, specialized training, community outreach, and youth programs.
INTERVIEWS: Medal of Valor, Purple Heart and Preservation of Life honorees will be available for print and television broadcast interviews on Thursday, September 8, 2016. To make advance arrangements for interviews, please contact Police Officer Liliana Preciado, LAPD Media Relations Section, at 213-486-5910. Officer Preciado, is also a Spanish speaker, and will be available to facilitate interviews on the day of the event.
CONTACT: For more information, please contact Police Officer Sara Faden, LAPD Community Relationship Division, at 213-486-8426, or 213-841-2064. For information about the Los Angeles Police Foundation, please call Pat Berni at 213-489-4636, or visit: www.lapolicefoundation.org.