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Police Officers and Stranded Motorists

September 19, 1987

Chivalry is not dead in Southern California, thanks to Los Angeles Police Department Officer Roger P. Church from the Harbor Division.

About 11:30 p.m. on Sept. 12, I and three women friends (all of us middle-aged) were returning to Palos Verdes after viewing the Angel-Texas baseball game at Anaheim Stadium, when the car in which we were riding developed a sudden loss of power just as we were exiting the Harbor Freeway in Wilmington. The bottom of the off-ramp is in a rather isolated and deserted area. Just as we were contemplating pushing the car out of the middle of the off-ramp and adjoining street, Church approached in his car. He stopped, got out of his car and announced that he was an LAPD off-duty officer and presented his credentials. He then offered to look at the engine, recognized the problem as a broken timer belt and realized that an immediate repair would not be possible.

Even though Officer Church was off-duty and tired after a day of teaching at Harbor College, he insisted that the area was not safe for women and drove us to the college where he placed a call to the Auto Club, then returned us to the disabled car. Did he feel his duty was over? No, he did not. He insisted on waiting with us in his car until the tow truck arrived and even then he worried about us reaching a safe area.

The tow truck did not arrive. So after another trip to the college to phone, another wait for the tow truck and then a drive to a safe telephone to call for a taxi, he continued on his way--a 90-minute delay for him.

It is hard to express the gratitude I feel for his outstanding courtesy and concern for our welfare. I can only state that this was a wonderful example of L.A.'s finest in action.

PATRICIA HUGHES

Burbank

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