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Memorial Ceremony Planned for Police Week

May 12, 2017 03:55PM ● By Jeanne Fratello

Manhattan Beach will honor the service and sacrifice of its police force this week, with a police officer memorial ceremony and National Police Week observances.

The memorial ceremony will be held on Tuesday, May 16 at 9:00 a.m. outside the Manhattan Beach Police Department. This event is free and open to the community. 

The ceremony will honor and celebrate the lives of the three Manhattan Beach police officers who were killed in the line of duty: Officer Charles Frederick Grau (End of Watch, September 11, 1952); Officer Richard Timothy Giles (End of Watch, February 14, 1962); and Officer Martin Lane Ganz (End of Watch, December 27, 1993).

Officer Frederick Charles Grau, or Charlie as he was known at the department, suffered a stroke after going home at the end of his patrol shift. The stroke was attributed to a recent head injury he received while investigating a domestic disturbance call.

Officer Richard Giles was killed while in pursuit of a speeding vehicle on his motorcycle down Sepulveda Boulevard. A car made a dangerous left turn in front of him, at Sixth Street and Sepulveda Boulevard, resulting in a collision and fatal injuries to Giles.

Officer Martin Ganz was shot and killed while conducting a traffic stop. He had observed a motorist commit a traffic violation and pulled the vehicle over in the Manhattan Village Mall. As he walked towards the car, the driver exited and fired at Ganz. Ganz's 12-year-old nephew, having accompanied Ganz on a ride-along, was in the patrol car at the time of the shooting, 

A memorial has been placed in Ganz's honor at the Manhattan Village Mall, at the east side of the Bank of America building. Fellow officers, friends, and citizens gather there every December 27 to honor his memory. Additionally, a memorial sculpture is located at Live Oak Park, and a portion of the 405 freeway is named in Ganz's honor.

All three officers are memorialized on the Public Safety Wall at the Manhattan Beach Police Department.

Across the country, the week of May 14 to 20 is officially known as National Police Week, which recognizes the service and sacrifice of U.S. law enforcement officers. National Police Week pays special recognition to those law enforcement officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty for the safety and protection of others and is a collaborative effort of many organizations dedicated to honoring America’s law enforcement community.

During National Police Week, Concerns of Police Survivors (C.O.P.S.) promotes blue ribbons tied on car antennas as a reminder to the public that many law enforcement officers have paid the ultimate price and given their lives in the line of duty.  It is also to honor those officers who, day and night, stand guard in our communities. Residents are urged to show their support for fallen officers by flying a blue ribbon from car antennas, mailboxes - or anywhere a ribbon can be attached and displayed - as a show of support for fallen officers and for those still working the streets.

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