Officers Randy Champe and Gary Howe, operating "Air 12", suffered a mechanical failure and crashed near Vernon Street and Raymond Avenue. Both crew members were killed, as well as a civilian on the ground.
More than 2,000 law enforcement officers from throughout Southern California converged on the Hollywood Hills to honor them. More than 30 helicopters saluted the fallen officers with a 10-minute flyover as part of the smoggy morning ceremony at Forest Lawn Memorial Park cemetery. The memorial service opened with a bagpipe rendition of "Amazing Grace" and ended 90 minutes later with the somber blasts of "Taps" from a gleaming trumpet.
Police and military honor guards paid tribute to the two officers with a 21-gun salute, followed by the ceremonial folding of the American flags that had been draped over the caskets. Gates and Capt. Robert Woods, commanding officer of the Air Support Division, presented the flags to Sue Champe, and Lynette Howe the widows.
Champe, a 17-year veteran and the helicopter's TFO, served as a Marine in Vietnam.
In memory of the two officers, Police Department officials said the unit designation "Air 12," which had been assigned to Champe and Howe, will no longer be used by the department.
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Los Angeles Police Department