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4 Honored by 77th Street Division as Workers of Year

March 20, 1997

In a quiet ceremony Wednesday, tempered by the fact that one of their own was killed by a fellow officer the previous day, members of the Los Angeles Police Department's 77th Street Division honored three employees and a community activist as workers of the year.

A detective, police officer, civilian police employee and community worker were singled out for their ethics, productivity and dedication to the South-Central Los Angeles area.

"There are so many people who stand out, it is hard to pick just one," said LAPD Capt. Richard Gonzales, who presided over the meeting at the temporary headquarters of the 77th Street Division. A new police station is expected to open by the summer.

For his work with neighborhood youths, Cleve Freeman was named community worker of the year, the first time 77th Street has given out such an award.

Freeman has been influential in organizing the American Youth Soccer Organization in South-Central Los Angeles. This year, more than 250 area youths are expected to participate in soccer games at Harvard Park, said Freeman, a utility company worker.

"I didn't know anything about soccer five year ago, but now I do," said Freeman, who added that the soccer program was started after the 1992 riots as an alternative to street life.

Honored as detective of the year was Marvin Carter, a 28-year veteran of the LAPD, who is a supervisor of auto theft detectives at the station.

"I'm honored to be selected by my peers," said Carter, who has been a detective at 77th Street for 15 years.

Officer Bob Bermudez was named patrol officer of the year for his work training new officers.

"Bermudez is one of the hardest-working officers and has the patience of Job," said Sgt. Dallas Gibson.

Gonzales credited the station's civilian employee of the year, Mari Gomez, with helping improve relationships between the police and the large Latino community.

"I was shocked and honored," said Gomez.

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