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Deputy Thomas H. Pohlman | Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, California Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, California

Deputy

Thomas H. Pohlman

Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, California

End of Watch: Tuesday, April 18, 1978

Bio & Incident Details

Age: 27

Tour: 4 years

Badge # Not available

Cause: Gunfire

Incident Date: 4/18/1978

Weapon: Officer's handgun

Suspect: Not available

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Deputy Thomas Pohlman was shot and killed while attempting to make an arrest. Deputy Pohlman was on patrol when he smelled ether, used to manufacture PCP. He called for assistance but before back up could arrive, the suspect ran from the scene.

Deputy Pohlman started a foot pursuit and was able to capture the suspect. While the suspect was being handcuffed, he was able to gain control of Deputy Pohlman's revolver and shot him. Deputy Pohlman died at the scene.

Deputy Pohlman had served with the agency for 4 years.

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Most Recent Reflection

April 18, 1978 is a date I WILL never forget. I was a relatively new police officer assigned to Hollenbeck Division, which borders ELA's patrol area. I was assigned to an "L" car which was a one-man unit, and I had just completed taking a statement from the victim of a crime I decided to remain in the area to complete my report and I decided to park my car on Indiana, just south of Whiteside, backed against a fence that separates the street from the San Bernardino Freeway. I sat there for about 30 minutes working on the report, and just as I was getting ready to leave I monitored a broadcast advising that a deputy was in foot pursuit on Whiteside. I was shocked when I realized that the address was literally around the corner from my location, just seconds away. In 1978 LAPD and LASO did not share any communication, so when I arrived on scene I was late and there were already two LASO cars at the location. I will always feel guility knowing that I was just around the corner, sitting, while this deputy needed my help. I may have made a difference, if only I had only known. God bless you. RIP

Sergeant
LAPD
March 21, 2014

 

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