About 45 cadets from the Los Angeles
Sheriff’s Department Academy, accompanied by some 20 officers from various
police departments in L.A. county, including several from South Pasadena, ran a
little more than five miles early Monday morning in honor of a South Pasadena
Police Department officer who died in 2011.
Officer Kevin A. Sandoval, 23, was killed in a SWAT training accident on June 14, 2011. A resident of Covina, he was a familiar and much-loved figure in South Pasadena.
Cadets from the 395th class of the Sheriff's Academy, along with officers, began their “Colors 5-Mile Run” on Mound Avenue, behind the South Pas Police Station, at 7:50 a.m. Escorted by officers from about a dozen police agencies, and with South Pas Councilmember Michael Cacciotti riding along on a police bicycle, the memorial pride run ended at Garfield Park at about 8:45 a.m.
The runners started out by going west on Mission, then headed north on Orange Grove, west on Columbia and south on Arroyo. Then they ran east on Monterey, south on Meridian, east on Oak, past the South Pasadena Middle School, north on Fair Oaks and east on Mission toward Garfield Park.
South Pasadena Police Chief Art Miller dedicated a tree and a plaque in memory of Sandoval on the park’s northeastern edge, near the Healing Garden, where many in South Pasadena who died young are memorialized.
Sandoval started out as a cadet and graduated with distinction at the Rio Hondo College Police Academy in 2007, Miller said in a short speech to scores of officers and civilians, including City Manager Sergio Gonzalez, before the tree dedication ceremony.
The South Pasadena Police Department hired Sandoval as a temporary clerk for five months and then as a reserve officer in 2008, Miller said. Sandoval was hired full-time in February 2009 and he “exemplified all the qualities that make for an excellent officer,” the chief said.
Sandoval’s sudden death during training—he collapsed and hit his head at the Burro Canyon Shooting range—took everyone by surprise and shock, Miller said. “As a father myself, I can’t imagine the pain that the family must feel,” Miller said.
“But I hope today, it closes the door on one chapter of Kevin’s life and meaning—and how you can move on, knowing that you have everyone here who’s here today will always support you, always be there for you.”