Hollenbeck Area Memorial Wall Dedication Keeping Their Memory and Sacrifice Alive

July 12, 2011

Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) Hollenbeck Area Dedication Ceremony

Thursday July 14, 2011
10 a.m.

Hollenbeck Area Police Station
2111 East 1st Street
Los Angeles, California 90033

LAPD Chief Charlie Beck, Chief of Police
LAPD Assistant Chief Earl Paysinger
LAPD Captain Anita Ortega, Hollenbeck Area Commanding Officer
LAPD Captain Patrick Smith, Hollenbeck Area Patrol
Los Angeles City Fire Department, Battalion Chief  Rudolph Hill
Family members of slain Police Officer Steven Gajda
Friends and former partner of slain Police Officer Jerry Maddox

The Hollenbeck Memorial Wall will be a silent, yet constant reminder, to all who enter the Hollenbeck Area Police Station, of the ultimate sacrifice may by these officers.  This wall will help ensure the deaths of Officer Gajda and Officer Maddox will be forever memorialized and honored. Their dedication and service to the citizens of Los Angeles are deserving of recognition.

Tony Valdez will be serving as the Master of Ceremonies. Mr. Valdez is a general assignment reporter for FOX 11 News, has been with FOX 11 since 1980.  Mr. Valdez hosts Midday Sunday, a weekly public affairs program which spotlights local and national issues with current headline news and news makers. Valdez reports for “L.A.’s Most Wanted” news segment, which profiles criminal suspects and missing persons.

He served as a weekend news anchor from November 1991 to January 1993.  In addition, Mr. Valdez has received numerous Emmy, Golden Mike and Los Angeles Press Club awards for his work in broadcasting. Prior to KTTV, Valdez worked as a writer, producer and reporter for KTLA and KCET in Los Angeles. He also worked for La Opinion and Los Angeles Herald-Examiner. He attended Los Angeles City College and California State University, Northridge and is also a veteran of the United States Army.

On December 31, 1997, Hollenbeck Gang Officer Steven Gerald Gajda was working a New Year’s Eve crime suppression task force as part of his assignment to the Community Resources Against Street Hoodlums (CRASH), as it was formerly called.  Officer Gajda and his partner stopped to investigate a loud party, which was attended by numerous known gang members.  As the officers approached the location, one of the gang members fled on foot.  Officer Gajda chased the suspect, who turned and repeatedly fired a handgun.  Officer Gajda was killed in the hail of gunfire.  The suspect was also killed in the shooting.

On August 19, 1969, Hollenbeck Area Policeman Jerry Maddox was assigned to patrol in the Pico Gardens Housing Project.  Policeman Maddox stopped to investigate a large party, which was attended by 18 to 24 youths.  As the officers approached the location, one of the party goers ran from police. Policeman Maddox chased the suspect down a narrow driveway and while handcuffing the suspect in the back and died. Responding officers arrested the suspect at the scene.

Without the generous donations by the following groups, this wall would not have been possible:

California Gang Task Force
Dan Evanilla,  Chair
Central Coast Gang investigators Association
Michael Walker, Exec Director
California Narcotics Officers Association Region 5
Angel Duarte, President
Eastvale Law Enforcement and Fire Department Association
Hal Justice, President
Los Angeles Federal Credit Union
Mike Padgett, President
Los Angeles Police Protective League
Ramon Espinosa, Vice pres
Scott Rate, Vice Pres
Latin American Law Enforcement Association
Armando Perez, President
Los Angeles Police Foundation
Alan Atkins, Exec Director
Orange County Gang Investigators Association
Joel Nigro President
Paul Enox , Retired Captain
Various Hollenbeck Officers

The families, friends, and Officers of Hollenbeck Area Police Station wish to thank, and express deep gratitude, for the participation and donations that funded the memorial.

For more information, please contact LAPD Sergeant Rich Duran at 213-604-1849.