Garden Grove PD remembers its Fallen Five

By Lou Ponsi

They are more than simply names on a memorial.

Sgt. Myron L. Trapp was an aficionado of Western movies and books and cooked up chili hot enough to set your mouth ablaze.

Reserve Officer Andy Reese had a passion for old cars, played the trombone, and was a fine athlete.

Officer Donald Reed was a magician and once performed at the famed Magic Castle in Hollywood.

Officer Michael Rainford was a generous man and always cheerful.

Master Officer Howard Dallies, Jr. was a gentle giant who loved a cup of tea before going 10-8.

Christina Trapp, daughter of Sergeant Myron L. Trapp, who was fatally shot while responding to a call on October 6, 1959, places a red rose in a wreath of white flowers in honor of her father.
Photo by Jeff Antenore/Behind the Badge OC

While their personalities were unique, they have a few things in common.

They all donned a uniform and a badge for the Garden Grove Police Department and they all sacrificed their own lives to keep their community safe.

Garden Grove police officers, cadets, explorers and others stand with hands over their hearts during the national anthem at a memorial honoring the five officers who’ve lost their lives in the line of duty in the city.
Photo by Jeff Antenore/Behind the Badge OC

They are also Garden Grove PD’s Fallen Five, honored for the 31st year at the agency’s annual Call to Duty Police Memorial remembrance on May 17.

The dignified and polished service took place front of the department’s Call to Duty Memorial – a life-size bronze statue of an officer on one knee, bowing his head and holding a folded United States flag.

Garden Grove police officers salute the flag during the national anthem.
Photo by Jeff Antenore/Behind the Badge OC

Hundreds of police officers and recruits from throughout Southern California were in attendance, as were family members of the fallen officers.

“I think it is a great tribute to the families and the fallen officers,” said Bill Reese of Napa, who was 26 when his father, Officer Andy Reese, was struck and killed by a car while directing traffic at the city’s Strawberry Festival in 1970.

Los Angeles Police Department pilots pass over the Garden Grove Police Station in a “Flyover Missing Man Formation” during the 31st annual memorial ceremony. Photo by Jeff Antenore/Behind the Badge OC

The guest speaker was San Bernardino Police Officer Shaun Sandoval, a former Garden Grove PD Explorer, who was among the first responders to the Dec. 2, 2015 terrorist attack at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino, when 14 were killed and 22 others seriously injured.

A Garden Grove police officer escorts a riderless horse at the start of the ceremony.
Photo by Jeff Antenore/Behind the Badge OC

“I couldn’t help but think this is going to be a fight for my life to save the lives of others,” Sandoval said, reflecting back to the moments before he entered the center. “As officers, we must be ready to protect the lives of others, even if it means sacrificing our own.”

Captain Ed Leiva welcomes guests to the memorial ceremony.
Photo by Jeff Antenore/Behind the Badge OC

Sandoval also spoke of the emotional scars he contended with in the weeks and months after the incident.

“I was not afraid to admit that, yes, I do need help,” he said. “I was not afraid to see a counselor to help me to come to terms and understand what I had experienced.”

The Garden Grove Police Department Honor Guard presents the flag.
Photo by Jeff Antenore/Behind the Badge OC

GGPD chief Todd Elgin didn’t attend the memorial due to a last-minute emergency.

But the talk Elgin was to give was read aloud by Cpt. Tom DaRe.

“This memorial plaza behind me is a powerful reminder of the loss we feel as an agency, and the dangers we face as law enforcement professionals every day,” said DaRe, reading Elgin’s speech. “We should never take the service and sacrifice of our policing professionals for granted. Nor should we ever forget the officers who died and their families.”

Garden Grove police officers, cadets, explorers, and others stand together with hands over their hearts during the national anthem.
Photo by Jeff Antenore/Behind the Badge OC

Elgin’s speech also pointed out that Garden Grove PD has lost more officers in the line of duty than any municipal agency in the county.

The chief also lamented recent legislation which allows convicted felons to leave prison early, contributing to rising crime rates and a spike in the homeless population.

Guest Speaker Officer Shaun Sandoval, a former Garden Grove officer who now serves as an officer with the San Bernardino Police Department, recounts his harrowing experience being one of the first to arrive at the scene of 2015’s mass shooting terrorist attack that killed 14 and injured 20 more.
Photo by Jeff Antenore/Behind the Badge OC

“Many of these lawmakers have failed to recognize the importance and dangerous work that police officers do on a daily basis,” Elgin wrote.

The memorial featured bagpipers from Nicholson Pipes and Drums, a riderless horse to symbolize the fallen officers, performances by the Bolsa Grande High School Chorus, a 21-gun salute, and the playing of “Taps.”

A Garden Grove police officer ceremoniously carries a trifolded American flag.
Photo by Jeff Antenore/Behind the Badge OC

Garden Grove PD’s Fallen Five:

Sgt. Myron Trapp

On Oct. 6, 1959, Trapp was responding to a call involving a man who was angry at noise made by a road crew working on the street in front of his house. Trapp was trying to talk the man out of the house when a fellow officer walked toward the front door. The man fired the rifle through the door. The shot missed the first officer and struck Trapp, killing him.

Bill Reese places a red rose in a wreath of white flowers in honor of Officer Andy Reese, who was killed after being struck by a vehicle while on duty in May 1970.
Photo by Jeff Antenore/Behind the Badge OC

Officer Andy Reese

On May 30, 1970, Reese, a reserve officer, was directing traffic during the Strawberry Festival when an impatient driver sped past slow-moving traffic and struck Reese, killing him.

Courtney Allison sings the national anthem.
Photo by Jeff Antenore/Behind the Badge OC

Officer Donald Reed

Reed and three fellow officers entered a bar to serve an arrest warrant on a man on June 7, 1980. Reed was escorting the man out the back door when the man drew and fired a semi-automatic handgun, striking Reed in the chest and killing him.

Pastor Bau Dang gives an invocation.
Photo by Jeff Antenore/Behind the Badge OC

Officer Michael Rainford

Rainford was on patrol on Nov 7, 1980, when he was conducting a routine traffic stop on a 22 freeway on-ramp when he was struck and killed by a drunk driver.

Garden Grove police officers carry five red roses that will be added to a wreath in honor of each of the five officers who lost their lives while in the line of duty in Garden Grove in the past 60 years.
Photo by Jeff Antenore/Behind the Badge OC

Master Officer Howard Dallies, Jr.

On March 9, 1993, Dallies pulled over a motorcycle on Aldgate Street. As Dallies walked towards the motorcycle, the driver fired six shots at the officer, hitting him four times. He was rushed to the hospital, where he died from the wounds.

Michael Rainford III places a red rose in a wreath of white flowers in honor of Officer Michael Rainford, who was killed after being struck by a drunk driver while on duty in November 1980. Photo by Jeff Antenore/Behind the Badge OC

A Garden Grove police officer tolls a memorial bell, once for each of the five officers who have died in the line of duty since 1959. Photo by Jeff Antenore/Behind the Badge OC

The Bolsa Grande High School Concert Choir performs “America the Beautiful” outside the Garden Grove Police Department. Photo by Jeff Antenore/Behind the Badge OC

Guest Speaker Officer Shaun Sandoval, a former Garden Grove officer who is now an officer with the San Bernardino Police Department, recounts his harrowing experience being one of the first to arrive at the scene of 2015’s mass shooting terrorist attack that killed 14 and injured 20 more. Photo by Jeff Antenore/Behind the Badge OC

Captain Tom Dare reads the words of Garden Grove Police Chief Todd Elgin. Photo by Jeff Antenore/Behind the Badge OC

The Garden Grove Police Department Honor Guard presents the flag. Photo by Jeff Antenore/Behind the Badge OC

Captain Tom Dare reads the words of Garden Grove Police Chief Todd Elgin. Photo by Jeff Antenore/Behind the Badge OC

Pastor James Scheller gives a benediction at the close of the annual memorial. Photo by Jeff Antenore/Behind the Badge OC

Tim Shevlin plays Taps at the close of Garden Grove’s annual Call To Duty Memorial on May 17, 2018. Photo by Jeff Antenore/Behind the Badge OC