Monday, July 18, 2011

In Remembrance of Arcadia Police Officer Albert E. Matthies

Tomorrow is the 84th anniversary of the murder of Arcadia Police Officer Albert E. Matthies, the only Arcadia Police Officer to be killed in the line of duty. Officer Matthies was shot while detaining three young men near the intersection of Northview and Foothill in north Arcadia on July 18, 1927, shortly before midnight. Officer Matthies came upon the men inside a vehicle parked on Northview. Officer Matthies was unaware that the men were preparing to conduct a robbery at a business nearby. The rear seat passenger was Frank Miller. Miller pulled out a .45 cal handgun and shot at Matthies, striking him in the neck. Matthies later died from the gunshot wound at 12:07 AM on July 19, 1927.

Leo Bertolina, a friend of Matthies, was riding along that night in the police car. Bertolina was able to scramble away after being shot at and hit with flying glass from windows being struck by gunfire. Bertolina telephoned for additional police assistance. The trio of suspects got away that night but were later apprehended in Los Angeles within days. The three suspects were later convicted of the murder of Officer Matthies and sentenced to prison. The shooter died in prison. The two accomplices were later paroled and died shortly after release.

The murder of Officer Matthies is memorialized at the following locations:

•Plaque memorial at Foothill Blvd/Northview Ave, Arcadia CA. Northview Avenue has been co-named Albert Matthies Way in honor of Officer Matthies.
•Los Angeles County Peace Officers Memorial, Whittier CA
•California Peace Officers Memorial, Sacramento CA
•National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial, Washington DC
Officer Down Memorial Page

The Arcadia Police Officers' Association will honor the memory of Officer Matthies with an honor guard, commencing at noon today, through 12:07 a.m. tomorrow morning. Officers will stand in honor of the ultimate sacrifice made by Officer Matthies at the scene where he lost his life.  Please join us in honoring the memory of this Arcadia hero.

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