By Brittany Hanson/Garden Grove Journal
They were described as members of “The Greatest Generation,” humble men, dignified men, great friends and comrades. But mostly, they were linked as men of great humor.
The five fallen officers of the Garden Grove Police Department were remembered Thursday in the 24th annual “Call to Duty” Police Memorial service in front of the station at 11301 Acacia Pkwy.
Chief Kevin Raney had asked that this year the fallen be remembered by those who worked with them, that they not be remembered for what they are, but for who they are as people, friends and family members.
To Chris Metcalf, her father, Police Sergeant Myron Trapp, was a mountain of a man, a disciplinarian and a man of hard work. He was also a man who made sure the family always had time to have fun, go to the beach and had a sense of humor.
According to Metcalf, growing up, she and her brothers were always taught that sometimes, to do their jobs, policemen died.
“As a child, it’s hard to really understand that, to process it,” said Metcalf, as her voice wavered, “And one day, I was home from school, but my dad wasn’t home when he usually was. Then some police came by the house.”
Former GGPD Chief Larry Marshall spoke about Trapp to crowd. Trapp was one of the original 27 officers that comprised the first generation of the Garden Grove police force.
“He had character and strength,” said Marshall, “But he was also a prankster and a wonderful story teller.”
One of Trapp’s stories was that one night, while on patrol with a recruit, an ambulance was called to pick up a victim. The recruit, at the last minute, jumps into the ambulance and calls out to Trapp, “I’ll meet you at the hospital!”
As the ambulance drives away with the waving recruit inside, Trapp waves back, thinking, “Here I am, in the rain, and there goes the ambulance with this victim inside along with my recruit. And that recruit has my car keys.”
Retired Sgt. Bruce Beauchamp remembered fallen Officer Andy Reese, who was on of the first reserve officers to work in Garden Grove.
Beauchamp said that it was Reese’s company and companionship that made him such a good guy to work with. According to Beauchamp, when working the graveyard shift with Reese, it wasn’t uncommon for them to stop by Reese’s home to get a cup of coffee, always fresh made by Reese’s wife.
“He always laughed at my jokes, no matter how corny or how many times he had heard them before,” said Beauchamp, “He always laughed like it was the first time he had heard it.”
For Officer Donald Reed, retired Detective Jack Brown recalled how Reed had infectious energy that never seemed to flag.
“He said he’d had so much fun from working one night, that he was going to have trouble getting to sleep when he got home,” said Brown about a late night shift, “I was always grateful for his camaraderie.”
One of the things that Brown mentioned was that through his life he has been able to see his kids grow up, get married and lead their own lives. This, in turn, is what has made Brown realize how much of a sacrifice that Reed made.
Officer Michael Rainford was a mischievous teenager, once upon a time. His friend, retired Master Officer John Yergler, said that Rainford, once, on a lark, drove around Garden Grove picking up all the fire extinguishers from the local motels.
Then, at Yergler’s behest, he returned them all, one by one.
Rainford had approached Yergler and another friend in 1971, while in high school and told them that he was the third musketeer, they were the other two and that they had a new best friend.
“Well, we don’t need a new best friend,” replied Yergler.
“You’ve got one anyways,” said Reed.
According to Yergler, that was just the kind of guy that Rainford was, he was your friend and stuck to it.
“Every day, I think about him and I talk to him . . . I lost my best friend,” said Yergler.
Master Officer John Enriquez said that the impressions that you will leave behind are the small acts you do for others. Enriquez’s friend, Master Officer Howard Dallies Jr. was a man who tried to make a difference in a community that needed it.
Enriquez said that at the time, the two of them were working on the Buena Clinton task force, a hard job because the Buena Clinton neighborhood of Garden Grove had an exceptionally high crime rate.
Something Enriquez remembered about Dallies was that when there suspects being held to be transferred to jail, Dallies would give them sermons about where they had gone wrong in their lives and what they could do to change.
But for all his seriousness, Enriquez said, Dallies was just like a big kid. A good man, he said, with a good heart.
Dallies’s widow, Mary Dallies-Carpenter, said that He would not have called himself a hero.
“He was a practical joker though, but he was also unassuming. Quiet and reserved, he was fun and gregarious with those who he knew,” said Dallies-Carpenter, “Right now, I’m grateful that there are people here [in Garden Grove] that still come to this.”