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COAST, CENTRAL, AND NORTHWEST CITIES : GARDEN GROVE

Beyond the Call of Duty

Naming of Street After Myron L. Trapp Launches Series to Honor Slain Police Officers

March 07, 2000|CHRIS CEBALLOS | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Garden Grove officials will dedicate a street today in the new Centrex housing development named after Myron L. Trapp, the city's first police officer to be killed in the line of duty. He was slain in 1959.

The street named for Trapp is the first in a series of new streets that will be named after the city's five fallen officers. Garden Grove Police Capt. David Abrect said streets for the other officers will be dedicated as new developments produce new streets.

"It's a somber occasion, but it's also kind of a celebration," Abrect said. "At least Myron's name will live on forever."

Garden Grove has the unfortunate distinction of having lost more officers than any other city in Orange County.

Trapp, one of the first 27 officers hired by the city after incorporation in 1957, had responded to a report of an assault with a deadly weapon. At the scene he saw a man in his home with a rifle. As Trapp ran toward the home to warn another officer, he was shot and killed. A brief program is planned with family members unveiling the new street sign.

Reserve Officer Andy Reese was killed in 1970 while directing traffic during the city's Strawberry Festival. During the early years of the department, all new officers were required to ride with Reese, a highly respected, retired military officer, before attending the police academy. He was killed when an impatient driver decided to pass slow-moving traffic and struck him.

Narcotics Officer Donald F. Reed was killed in June 1980 while serving an arrest warrant on a man at a local bar. Reed was escorting the man out of the bar when the suspect fatally shot him with a semiautomatic handgun.

Reserve Officer Michael Rainford was killed in November 1980 during a routine traffic stop on a Garden Grove Freeway onramp. Rainford was struck and killed by a drunken driver.

Master Officer Howard Dallies was killed in 1993 by a suspect on a motorcycle during an early-morning traffic stop. The driver shot at Dallies six times as he approached the motorcycle, hitting him four times. Dallies was rushed to an area hospital but died from his wounds.

Four years of intense investigation led to the arrest of John J.C. Stephens. After Stephens served two years in jail, prosecutors dropped the charges against him when a judge ruled that detectives had coerced a key witness.

Dallies' killing remains unsolved, and police say the case is still open.

Chris Ceballos can be reached at (714) 966-7440.

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