Home | Crime & Justice

Remembering Law Enforcement Officers Killed in Los Angeles County

Sheriff James R. Barton was Los Angeles County’s second Sheriff and its first law enforcement officer killed on duty. In 1857, just three weeks after his re-election as Sheriff, Barton set out towards San Juan Capistrano (then part of Los Angeles County) with a posse to capture a group of bandits. The bandits were encountered on the morning of January 23. In the ensuing gunfight, Sheriff Barton and all but two of his posse were shot and killed. Three of the bandits were also killed. A second posse later pursued the remaining bandits, capturing 52 of them. Eleven of the bandits were hanged at Fort Hill.

Since the 1857 death of Sheriff Barton and his posse members, 463 local, state and federal law enforcement officers have died while performing their duties within Los Angeles County. On the grounds of the Sheriff’s Training Center at 11515 Colima Road in Whittier, the name of each officer is inscribed upon a memorial to honor and remember their sacrifice. The Los Angeles Almanac sets aside a special page to record the names of these officers.


The Monument

by Sgt. George Hahn, LAPD (Retired)

I never dreamed it would be me
My name for all eternity
Recorded here at this hallowed place
Alas, my name, no more my face

"In the line of duty" I hear them say
My family now the price will pay
My folded flag stained with their tears
We only had those few short years

The badge no longer on my chest
I sleep now in eternal rest
My sword I pass to those behind
And pray they keep this thought in mind

I never dreamed it would be me
And with heavy heart and bended knee
I ask for all here from the past
Dear God, let my name be the last


Those who have fallen...

Thank you to the Sheriff's Relief Association of L.A. County
and The California Peace Officers Memorial