DOWNEY’S POLICE MEMORIAL IS A VIVID DEPICTION OF ABJECT SORROWBy Greater Long Beach
DOWNEY (Via the Downey Beat)—With hundreds on hand as witnesses, the city on Thursday unveiled a memorial to fallen police officers, with a special emphasis on Officer Wayne Presley, the only Downey officer killed in the line of duty.
The bronze statue in front of the Police Department depicts a kneeling officer in a sorrowful bow with his hand over his face. Of its $90,000 price tag, $60,000 will come from the city’s Art In Public Places Fund while the remaining $30,000 will come from the Police Department’s Assets Forfeiture Fund. That’s from police confiscation of illegal money or materials.
Presley was killed April 10, 1981 when a drunk driver hit him and another officer while they assisted a stalled big rig on Florence Avenue just west of Lakewood Boulevard. He was 37.
The other officer, Steve Guthrie, was critically injured but eventually was able to come back to work, Downey Police Chief Rick Esteves said. At the ceremony, it was Guthrie who placed a folded United States flag on the memorial.
Esteves said Presley, a Navy veteran, was a solid cop who served the community.
Guthrie, who teaches introduction to law enforcement for Downey High’s Regional Occupation Program, said he still thinks about the crash.