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Regional Report : PALOS VERDES ESTATES : City to Honor 150 Officers at Barbecue

July 28, 1994|JEFF KASS

Palos Verdes Estates, where two police officers were killed on Valentine's Day, plans to send out invitations Monday for a barbecue honoring more than 150 police officers from surrounding cities.

After the Feb. 14 shootings of Sgt. Vernon Thomas Vanderpool, 57, and Capt. Michael Tracy , 50, sent shock waves through the small Palos Verdes Estates Police Department, officers from neighboring agencies stepped in to protect the city.

To thank those officers, the city will hold a Sept. 10 barbecue at Skunk Hollow that is estimated to cost several thousand dollars.

"(The cost) is relatively minor compared to what they did for us," said Bill Yeomans, city finance director.

Tracy and Vanderpool were killed when gunman David Fukuto burst into a Torrance Holiday Inn meeting room during a motivational seminar for Palos Verdes Estates city officials. After the two officers were shot, other officers wrestled Fukuto to the ground. Fukuto died of head injuries and asphyxia in the scuffle, said Los Angeles Dist. Atty. Gil Garcetti, who ruled that the use of force in subduing Fukuto was justifiable.

While the 23 Palos Verdes Estates officers were given time off to grieve, 77 Torrance police officers, 57 sheriff's deputies, 33 Redondo Beach officers and 10 officers from other cities such as Hermosa Beach and Los Angeles helped out.

The mayors of each city also will be invited to the barbecue, along with elected officials, city employees and police officers from Palos Verdes Estates.

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