Sunday, April 8, 2007

Oldest Active Duty LAPD Police Officer

Oldest Active Duty LAPD Police Officer
By Gene Gleeson

VAN NUYS - The oldest police officer on active duty at the LAPD can still remember his first day on the job, like it was yesterday.

Sgt. John O'Toole remembers a lot from his 53 years as a cop. O'Toole recently turned 80, which makes him the most senior officer on the department. When he started, the LAPD was all male and nearly all white. Then it's image was fine tuned by Sgt. Joe Friday in the TV show, 'Dragnet.'
O'Toole may be 80, but he shows up for work every morning at 4:30 with a smile and gleam in his Irish eyes. He's a detective at Valley Traffic. Working felony pursuit and DUI cases. Co-workers say he's like a walking history book.
O'Toole's the only World War II vet left on the LAPD. He fibbed about his age and enlisted when he was only 16. Serving in the Pacific as a tail gunner on a navy bomber. After the war he bounced around, until he found his calling, as a cop.
O'Toole served for years on the Metro squad. Helping provide security for visiting dignataries; including then Senator John F. Kennedy in 1960 and the year before Soviet Leader Nikita Kruschev.
All that's behind him now. But Sgt. John O'Toole is not quite ready to say goodbye to police work.


thebronze said...

That's awesome!

Go Sarge!

The only thing, doesn't he realize he's paying the city to be there?

Anonymous said...

hey sarge God bless retired chicago copper here left after 30 thought i was ats ass but your the greatest you have right idea keep working retirement been bad for my mind lol hang in there

Anonymous said...

"When he started, the LAPD was all male and nearly all white" - they just have to get that in there, don't they?

Yeah, in those days we still had a sane society where women generally didn't have occupations such as police officer. And so what if "minorities" were under-represented? There was no conspiracy to keep them from getting hired.

That all-male, nearly all-white LAPD was a lot more effective than today's affirmative-action wonders, that's for sure.