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Their Own Blue Line : Raquel Argomaniz is proud--and worried. She has three sons and a daughter-in-law in the LAPD.

August 07, 1994|RAQUEL ARGOMANIZ

Raquel Argomaniz, 58, of Boyle Heights is a mother of six children. Three sons and a daughter-in-law are Los Angeles police officers. Ramiro Jr., 35, a 13-year veteran, and Manuel, 31, who joined in 1987, received the Medal of Valor, the Police Department's highest honor. A member of the Special Weapons and Tactics team, Ramiro was cited for his role in the capture of armed robbery suspects . Manuel was recognized in 1991 after rescuing a 5-year-old boy trapped inside a burning apartment. Roger, 23, joined the Police Department in 1991 and recently received a commendation for saving the life of a drug overdose victim. Ramiro's wife, Joy, was the top female graduate from the Police Academy in 1984. Councilman Richard Alatorre honored the Argomaniz family in May for its dedication and service to the people of Los Angeles. Argomaniz and her husband, Ramiro Sr., have lived in Boyle Heights for the last 39 years . She was interviewed by Kirby Lee.

I tried to discourage my first son from becoming a police officer. I wanted him to become a doctor.

Ever since he was a little boy, Ramiro Jr. wanted to be a cop. As soon as he graduated from high school, he went into the Police Academy. Ramiro Jr. was really determined and eventually I realized he wasn't going to change his mind and I decided to support him.

I really didn't want my second son, Manuel, to do police work. One was enough and I didn't want to worry about the danger involved.

Manuel had a very good job as a paralegal with the L.A. County Bar, but he was also very determined. So I decided he was old enough to make the decision and I would have to support it.

I thought after the first two joined the police, that would be it. But as soon as Roger turned 21, he already had it in him he was going to become a cop.

My other sons tried to convince him not to and that there were other careers to go into. I considered him the baby of the family, but once he decided to do it, I had no choice but to accept it.

I am really worried about the escalation of violence and how it affects my sons in their careers as police officers.

It's gotten worse and at times, I find it very hard to sleep. I am especially concerned about my 16-year-old granddaughter Laura, who says that once she reaches the right age she is going to join the LAPD.

I am very worried, but very proud of my sons. There is a perception that everything bad happens in East L.A. I am thankful our family was recognized by Councilman Alatorre, because it demonstrates there are good people in Boyle Heights who are concerned about their community.

My sons were always involved in sports and there was never any time for them to go out on the streets. I always stayed home and never worked for that reason. As a parent, I tried to counsel them and steer them in the right direction.

My husband would come home from work and take them to play baseball in the afternoon. They would come home and they'd be tired. They'd have dinner and go to sleep.

Our family has always been close and always is in constant communication. My sons usually call every day to let me know they're OK, but I begin to worry if I have not heard from them in awhile.

I have a habit of watching the 6 o'clock news to see what's going on and have occasionally seen them on television, especially during the riots. I never really ask them questions about their jobs, but when something serious happens, they usually volunteer to tell me what took place and how they were able to take care of themselves.

The people who suffer the most are the families of police officers, because the officers leave them behind to preserve justice and help other families who are in need of assistance. It's a responsibility, it's part of their job.

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