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SUNDAY BRUNCH | Social Recognition

Police Pipe Up in Parks' Honor

October 04, 1998|PATT MORRISON

What a year for Bernard C. Parks, Los Angeles' chief of police.

First, People magazine placed him in the top 10 of its 50 "most beautiful people in the world."

And now he's got his own theme song.

Parks and his wife, Bobbie, were named White Memorial Medical Center Charitable Foundation's Man and Woman of the Year at a weekend gala at the Beverly Hilton, where Parks also got a surprise award:

He became the only police chief in California, and one of the few in the nation, to have a bagpipe march composed and named in his honor.

The tune, written by retired Edinburgh police officer and noted piper Harry S. McNulty, was premiered at the gala by the Los Angeles Police Pipe Band, which also presented Parks with a framed copy of the march as the crowd of about 1,000 clapped in time to the music.

The LAPD's pipe band, a civilian volunteer organization celebrating its 20th anniversary, plays for such official events as police funerals and last year's inauguration of Mayor Richard Riordan. The late "Star Trek" creator and bagpipe music lover Gene Roddenberry was a longtime supporter and associate of the group.

The band's past pipe major, Eric Rigler, played the haunting pipe music for the Oscar-winning films "Titanic" and "Braveheart." And the LAPD band has been asked to play the Parks tune in an upcoming British documentary on the Highland bagpipe.

The new march, titled "Chief Bernard C. Parks, LAPD," is scheduled for publication in Scotland's international magazine, "The Piping Times."

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