WHAT: Memorial Highway Dedication Ceremony
WHEN: Friday, November 6, 2015 10:00 a.m.
WHERE: Berhinger Park and Athletic Field 15900 Alicante Road La Mirada, CA 90638
WHO: LAPD Deputy Chief Kirk Albanese, Detective Bureau LAPD Commander Anne Clark, Office of Administrative Services LAPD Gang and Narcotics Division Staff Family members of fallen Detective Gerald “Blackie” Sawyer
WHY: The entire Sawyer family requests your presence at this special highway naming event to honor the memory of Detective Gerald “Blackie” Sawyer.
Detective Sawyer was born on November 19, 1941, in the City of Los Angeles. In 1963 he began attending the Los Angeles Police Academy, where he attained his ultimate desire by becoming a proud member of the Los Angeles Police Department where he served for 10 years.
Detective Sawyer relocated to the City of La Mirada in 1971 where he resided with is wife and children. He was an active member of his community and began coaching the La Mirada Monarch, a Pop Warner youth football team, leading them to an undefeated championship season.
On November 6, 1973, Detective Gerald “Blackie” Sawyer, assigned to Narcotics Division, was working a joint taskforce with LAPD officers and the Drug Enforcement Administration to make an undercover narcotics purchase.
A police informant introduced Detective Sawyer as a prospective buyer to a known cocaine trafficker and arrangements were made for the purchase of 20 kilos of cocaine on the fifth floor hotel room of a Holiday Inn in the city of Santa Monica. Detective Sawyer, carrying a briefcase containing $140,000 in cash, met with the suspect and the informant in a hotel room to conduct the narcotics transaction. Detective Sawyer handed the briefcase to the suspect who counted the money twice. Without warning, the suspect took out a .25 caliber pistol and shot Detective Sawyer multiple times.
LAPD officers and Drug Enforcement Administration agents in an adjacent room who were monitoring the narcotics transaction immediately rushed into the hotel room and took the suspect and informant into custody. Unfortunately, Detective Sawyer succumbed to his injuries.
In 1974, Detective Sawyer was posthumously awarded the LAPD Medal of Valor, and in 1992, the LAPD Training Division made a video to reenact the tragic events of his death. Detective Sawyer was the first Los Angeles Police Department undercover officer ever to be killed in the line of duty. In 2014, Detective Sawyer was posthumously awarded the LAPD Purple Heart for sacrificing his life in the service of law enforcement.
CONTACT: Should you have any questions or need further information, please contact Brian Sawyer at email@example.com or LAPD Media Relations Section at 213-486-5910.