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About 200 people tearfully gathered outside the Hollywood police station on Friday morning to honor the memory of Officer Alex Del Rio, who was killed late last year in a fiery car wreck.
In addition to Del Rio, mourners commemorated the city’s other five officers who have been killed in the line of duty over the years. They include Officer Owen Coleman, (killed Jan. 25, 1926), Officer Henry T. Minard, (Nov. 18, 1972), Officer Byron W. Riley, (Aug. 30, 1973), Officer Phillip C. Yourman, ( Aug. 30, 1973), and Officer Frankie M. Shivers, (Sept. 6, 1982).
Del Rio, 31, died Nov. 22 after his cruiser hit a tree on Sheridan Street and erupted in flames.
His mother, Miriam Fernandez, wept as a bugle player played Taps and three police helicopters flew over the service.
Police Chief Chad Wagner told attendees that the names of the six fallen officers will now be placed on a
license plate that will adorn the front of every Hollywood police vehicle.
“Every day of the year, everyone would be able to remember those officers. Their names will be riding with every officer out there on a daily basis,” said Wagner.
Effie Davis, mother of slain Officer Frankie Shivers, was also in the crowd. Shivers was gunned down in 1982 while trying to rescue a mentally ill woman from a burning car.
“I still get emotional,” said Davis. “It’s great that my baby’s life is still remembered.”
The city’s mayor and commissioners attended the service, despite strong words from the police union earlier this week that they would not be welcome if they supported outsourcing the police force. The commission is studying how much could be saved by outsourcing all of the city departments.
Only Commissioner Fran Russo, who was out of town to attend an illness in the family, did not attend.