Boosters Heartily Support Deputies

By: Liane M. Roth Valley Life Editor

When several community members were approached by civic leader Roger Persons to form the Palmdale Sheriff Boosters 20 years ago, the idea was to create a support for deputies within Palmdale, where Persons not only lived but owned and operated his business, Chapel of the Valley Mortuary.

"We started small but Roger had a vision," said Aida O'Connor, booster president and a founding member.

"He wanted to let the Palmdale deputies know whatever they needed we could provide. And we do - almost every month they need something; if it's small, we vote on it and write a check."

Items include mountain bikes for deputies on bicycle patrol, portable Honda generators, equipment for the Search and Rescue unit, the Palmdale Sheriff's Explorers Post, the Mounted Patrol and the station gym.

Boosters purchased the sheriff's star for the brick wall of the Memorial Wall and Patio that serves as a tribute to fallen deputies, added a barbecue, patio chairs and tables, a water feature and dedication plaques. There is one name on the Memorial Wall, that of Deputy Richard B. Hammack, killed on May 11, 1992 as he assisted two other deputies who encountered gunfire while serving a high-risk drug warrant. Hammack is the only deputy to be shot and killed in the city of Palmdale.

Members organize the annual Deputy Don Self Integrity Golf Tournament to raise money for scholarships at Antelope Valley College. Deputy Self was a local AV Mall officer who died of cancer in 2000.

The boosters play host to a quarterly awards dinner to publicly recognize and honor Palmdale deputies and employees who have gone above and beyond in their duties to the community, O'Connor said, with this quarter's ceremony, including the annual Christmas party, at 5:30 p.m. Dec. 18 at The Palmdale Hotel, 300 West Palmdale Blvd.

Those interested in joining the Palmdale Sheriff Boosters are encouraged to attend; a toy drive for children up to 17 years of age will be included.

For reservations, call (661) 266-1933.

The cost to join the Palmdale Sheriff Boosters starts at $50 for a family membership and $1,000 for a lifetime membership.

For details, call (661) 942-9657.

Story courtesy of AV Press