Retired Captain Randy Kirby and the Arcadia Police Officers' Association presented the Arcadia Police Department with a Peace Officer Memorial plaque at a dedication ceremony held today. The plaque hangs in the entryway of the police station and is dedicated to those law enforcement officials who have died in the line of duty serving the City of Arcadia and our community.
Albert E. Matthies is the only Arcadia Police Officer to be killed in the line of duty. Officer Matthies was gunned down in 1927 near the intersection of Foothill Boulevard and Northview Avenue. Officer Matthies was recently honored with a ceremony and honor guard on the anniversary of his death. His name has been placed below the memorial plaque.
About 9 years before the murder of Officer Matthies, a Los Angeles County Sheriff's Deputy, assigned to the Sierra Madre area, was gunned down at the intersection of Foothill Boulevard and Santa Anita Avenue. Deputy George Van Vliet was killed on November 18, 1918, by a "Bonnie and Clyde" type duo who had previously murdered two lawmen in Colorado. Deputy Van Vliet was assisting the Pinkerton Agency and the Postal Authority in attempting to capture the duo at a gas station and market in Arcadia when the gun fight took place. The suspects were killed by the deputies, but Deputy Van Vliet also died in the gun battle. His name joins that of Officer Matthies on our memorial.
For additional photos, please visit the Arcadia Police Department Facebook photo album page.