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Wounded deputy is named grand marshal of Big Bear Lake parade

May 14, 2013|By Mary Forgione, Los Angeles Times Daily Travel & Deal blogger
  • The Sheriff's Rangers Mounted Posse rides in the Old Miners Days Heritage Parade last year and will be back this year.
The Sheriff's Rangers Mounted Posse rides in the Old Miners Days Heritage… (Richard Millener / Big Bear…)

Alex Collins, the San Bernardino County sheriff's deputy who survived being shot several times by fired L.A. police officer Christopher Dorner during a massive manhunt in the Big Bear Lake area, will receive a very public thank you from the mountain town June 15 when he serves as grand marshal of the annual Old Miners Days Heritage Parade.

"He's going to be there, going to be in the parade," sheriff's Capt. Tom Bradford said Monday. "He still has a long recovery process ahead of him, including additional surgeries in coming weeks, even some before the event, but his recovery is coming along better than expected."

The community is using its annual parade to say thanks to the "fearless emergency personnel" for their protection of the community from Dorner, according to the announcement that Collins had been named grand marshal. 

Collins, who has served as a deputy in Big Bear since 2008, has been on medical leave since Feb. 12. He was on family leave with a newborn son when he decided to return to duty to help during the February manhunt. Dorner is suspected of killing four people and wounding three before turning a gun on himself in a standoff with authorities.

The parade starts at 4 p.m. June 15 and runs less than a mile along Big Bear Boulevard from Summit Boulevard to Georgia Street. During the parade, San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon will ride with a group of volunteer rangers and members of a search-and-rescue crew known as the Sheriff's Rangers Mounted Posse.

The public is invited to greet law enforcement officers and other emergency personnel from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at a pre-parade reception at the Big Bear Convention Center.

None of this outpouring of thanks surprises Bradford, who is Collins' commander. "Big Bear Lake has always been very supportive of law enforcement and military personnel. It's a close-knit community," he said.

mary.forgione@latimes.com

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