Hundreds of people packed St. Joseph Catholic Church in Bloomfield today to remember three police officers killed two years ago and to dedicate a memorial in their honor.
Their service to the community will never die, will never be forgotten,” the Rev. John Dinello said of Officers Paul J. Sciullo II, Stephen Mayhle and Eric G. Kelly, who were killed by a gunman in Stanton Heights on April 4, 2009. “They watch over us from heaven.”
The memorial statue is of a strong but sorrowful St. Michael the Archangel, the patron of police officers, standing on a mosaic pedestal with embedded photographs of the three officers. It was erected in a small memorial garden on land granted by both the City of Pittsburgh and the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh. Money is still being raised for the memorial, partly through the sale of small memorial police shields bearing the number 4/4/09. For more information about the memorial see http://www.bloomfieldnow.com/pittsburgh-fallen-heroes-fund/
From his high-rise lodging, Odell Sylvester still keeps an eye on Oakland and the city streets below, the same streets he patrolled a half-century ago.
But, in truth, Oakland should look up to him as a trailblazer.
For Sylvester achieved many important firsts in his lifetime as the Thomas Edison of East Bay law enforcement.
His rise through the Oakland Police Department was unprecedented. He was the first African-American to attain the ranks of sergeant, lieutenant, captain and deputy police chief.
Then he took it a step higher as Berkeley’s first black police chief.
“It can be done,” he said of his succession of firsts. “I want it emphasized that I don’t want excuses. Get yourself prepared. Don’t say that white folks are the reason why you aren’t successful. White people have a lot of problems, too. There are a whole lot of people in America who are just poor.”
Sylvester, 85, is almost finished writing his memoirs, which he has appropriately titled, “From The Bottom.” For he also was born in a Dallas district known as “The Bottom.”
The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office celebrated its fifth St. Baldrick’s fundraiser with a move to the Douglas County Events Center, providing more breathing room for more than 100 shavees who shaved their head for cancer research. Sheriff’s office deputies and command staff were joined by local police agencies, firefighters and sports luminaries to raise more than $20,000 for childhood cancer research.
The local event is organized each year by Niles Ackerson, whose daughter Isabella died of cancer on Dec. 27, 2006, at the age of 8 months old. All money raised by the nationwide St. Baldrick’s fundraisers goes toward research for childhood cancer.
To date, the sheriff’s office outreach has raised more than $300,000 to contribute to the cause. That amount is a “drop in the bucket” when it comes to cancer research, Ackerson said. St. Baldrick’s so far in 2011 has raised more than $17 million, he said.
Several hundred motorcycles roared through York County on Saturday headed for the same destination with the same goal: Raise as much money as possible for families of law enforcement officers hurt or killed on duty.
It was the third annual Thin Blue Line Ride in which bikers from around the region and beyond gathered in Rock Hill.
The ride, put on by The Forever Blue Foundation and The April Five Organization, took bikers on an hour-long drive to Matthews, N.C., where they celebrated with a party.
Community members are invited to meet with Pasadena police officers and park safety specialists Saturday to talk about issues affecting city parks and enjoy some barbecue.
Pasadena police Commander Darryl Qualls and Lieutenant Chris Russ will man the grill while park safety specialists meet with community members from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at La Pintoresca Park, 45 E. Washington Blvd., park safety specialist Maria Huerta said.
The goal of the “park watch” meeting is to familiarize residents with the park safety specialists and encourage them to take pride in city parks.
“It’s like a neighborhood watch; it’s got that concept,” Huerta said.
Patty Bird, 52, accompanied her daughter-in-law, Glendale police Sgt. April Arredondo, on the graveyard shift March 25. She looked on as Arredondo fatally shot a man who got off his motorcycle and fired a weapon at the women, according to police. He was suspected of shooting a man outside a Glendale bar minutes earlier.
Bird later said she had ridden with Arredondo in hopes of getting a better understanding of her job.
“I never imagined when I decided to ride with April Friday evening that something like this would happen,” she said.