California: Laguna Beach Police protect and serve









 In July 27, 1927 Abe W. Johnson was appointed Chief of Police by the City of Laguna Beach Trustees. He was paid $175 a month and he would have an assistant who would be paid $150 a month.
In 1942 the Laguna Beach Police Department had seven officers and one chief. Each officer worked 8 hours a day and received $140 per month in pay. Officers were required to furnish their own leather gear, handcuffs, and weapons. During the “war years” the officers worked 12 hour shifts with no overtime pay.
The only Laguna Beach Police Officer killed in the line of duty was Officer Gordon G. French. On February 13, 1953 Officer French was in the process of booking a suspect on forgery charges, but not searched, into the Laguna Beach City Jail. During the booking process the suspect drew a concealed weapon and demanded Officer French give up his gun.
French refused. The suspect fired one round, which struck Officer French in the chest and killed him. The suspect escaped and fled to Dana Point, where he committed suicide.Officer French’s name can be found on the Orange County Police Officer’s Memorial in Santa Ana and on the California Police Officer’s Memorial in Sacramento.
Group photographs such as the one shown to the left from 1958 were taken every year early in the morning just before the Patriots Day Parade.
This worked out since every officer was required to work due to the traffic control issues.As time went by, shift demands and activity required many officers to be home resting. Traffic control was handled by Police Explorers and COP volunteers.
Today, 49 police officers, 38 civilian employees, police explorers and over 25 community volunteers, all work together to provide the community with the highest level of law enforcement.