Family, Friends & Fellow Officers Remember...

Deputy Sheriff Thomas H. Pohlman

Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, California

End of Watch Tuesday, April 18, 1978

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Reflections for Deputy Sheriff Thomas H. Pohlman

In 1978 I was assigned to the Hollenbeck Division of the LAPD. On April 18, 1978, I was assigned to a one-man car and had stopped my vehicle, on Fowler, just south of Whiteside, just outside of our jurisdiction, to complete a report. At that time the LAPD and LASD had no direct communication. As I was completing my report, Communications Division broadcast a message from the LASD that one of their deputies was in a foot pursuit in the 3400 block of Whiteside. I immediately looked up at the street sign directly in front of me which read 3200 Whiteside. I immediately accelerated around the corner onto Whiteside and within a few seconds, I was at the scene. I saw the deputy's parked vehicle, but I had no idea of his location. I drove around the area for approximately a minute or so looking for Deputy Polman, obviously without any success. I then saw a number of LASD vehicles arriving at the location and decided to depart because I knew they had sufficient personnel to locate the deputy.
I have always regretted that I was unable to help Deputy Polman. Every time I travel on the W/B 10 freeway and pass this location, I always remember this hero and regret my inability to help him. I was so close and I had no idea what was happening right around the corner.

Sergeant Richard Laguna (Retired)

April 18, 2020

Deputy Sheriff Pohlman rest in peace.

Rabbi Lewis S. Davis

October 21, 2019

Your death came as I was starting my law enforcement career with LASD in 1978. I retired in 2011 and I always remembered this incident when I made a decision to pursue or not. You are not forgotten. Rest In Peace, Brother.

Ron Melton, Lieutenant
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, Retired

August 14, 2018

It breaks my heart knowing that you were just starting your career. And some monster ended it. I grew up listening to stories of deputies and officers risking their lives so that I am able to enjoy mine. Here I am. About to embark on my career following your footsteps as well as many before you and I.

Sir you will not be forgotten, I’ll hold the line from here.


May 14, 2018

Rest In peace Brother LEO. You are honored and remembered on the 40th anniversary of your EOW.

Officer Mike Robinson (Ret)
Upland Police Dept. CA

April 18, 2018

Tom, I will never forget awakening to my alarm clock at 6:00 a.m. April 19, 1978. The clock was set to KFWB news 98. I awoke to hear the top story. Deputy Thomas Pohlman was killed in the line of duty....... my heart sank. I will never forget you Tom. Whenever you, your Wife and son would come into the Hardware Store with your warmth and smile to purchase what ever you needed for your project at hand, you would brighten our day. I admired you and your family from the day we had met. Rest in Peace

Robert Hatcher Jr.
Eastern Hardware Company, Bell Gardens

February 6, 2018

Years ago I left a reflection for you and today I reread it and see that I made a mistake in your eow date. I apologize to your family for that error. Like all our heroes, you are never forgotten and always honored. The lovely tributes from your wife touches my heart because of her deep abiding love and dedication to keeping your memory alive. My son and his wife were also expecting a child when he was killed, and my daughter-in-law has also developed a deep relationship with my grandson and his dad by talking daily about him.

On this the 39th anniversary year of your death, you continue to inspire.

Phyllis Lasater Loya
mom of fallen Pittsburg Officer Larry Lasater, eow 4/24/05

May 8, 2017

The men and women of ELA Station and the entire LASD family continue to remember your ultimate sacrifice and strive to work toward keeping our personnel, citizens and visitors safe.

Deputy Sheriff LASD

April 18, 2017

Deputy Pohlman, you gave your LIFE...THANK YOU!! LASD loves the Pohlman family!!

Recruit Meza

November 9, 2016

On November 8, 2016, at 1:00 PM the intersection of I-10 and I-710 will be renamed the Los Angeles County Deputy Sheriff Thomas H. Pohlman Memorial Interchange. Read about it here:

Ofcr. Doug Iversen

November 8, 2016

"Go rest high on that mountain, sir, your work on Earth is done" (to paraphrase lyrics in a Vince Gill song). Deputy Pohlman and I were cadets in the Los Angeles Sheriffs' Department, Class 163 July 1973 to January 1974. What a gentleman he was. Utter shock to learn of his brutal murder I had just started patrol at Altadena Station when he was killed. I believe he was the only deputy to die in the line of duty from Class 163. Such sadness remains after all these years.

Deputy Sheriff Linda Morton Collins
Los Angeles Sheriffs' Department

October 30, 2016

RIP Tom. I had the privilege of working at ELA Station when Tom was there and enjoyed having him as a friend as well as a colleague. I had transferred to Firestone when he was murdered. Shock doesn't cover the emotion when something like this happens. I'll head out to that stretch of freeway and think of Tom.

Deputy Gary Nitchman Retired

October 14, 2016

38 years, 2 months, and 5 days ago, your life was taken. I was 17 going on 18. The impact of your death on my life doesn't diminish. You will always be the good guy, the hero.

CBP Officer Richard Arellano
U.S. Customs and Border Protection

June 23, 2016

Deputy Pohlman was an icon to the department and reading his final teaches me to never give up no matter what. It also showed me the dedication that he had to his career by doing all his duties to the fullest. He will always be remembered as legendary. Rest in Peace Deputy Pohlman

DSG J. McDonald
Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department

April 19, 2016

You are never forgotten Deputy Pohlman. Your sacrifice is a reminder of the dangers we face in order to up hold the law and the dangers of ridding society of evil. Thoughts and prayers to the Pohlman family.

Deputy Sheriff

April 19, 2016

Deputy Pohlman, You are not forgotten. Just a few months ago, my academy class (411-LASD), participated in a memorial run in your honor. You served with pride and bravery. You will forever be in my thoughts throughout my career. Thank you sir for your service.

Deputy, Castro A

April 19, 2016

You are never forgotten Deputy Pohlman. In our thoughts always.

Deputy Sheriff LASD
Class 295

April 19, 2016

You were taken from us 38 years ago today to live in Heaven. My heart broke when they told me you were gone, and it's never been the same. We had a 5 year old son, and I was pregnant with our daughter. Today they are both grown with sons of their own, and I know you would be so proud of the people they have become. Your name lives on with your grandsons, and they hear about you daily. There is not a day that goes by without thoughts of you. You were the best of the best! Your kindness, sense of humor, intelligence, and your caring personality set you apart from others. I was honored to be your wife, and I still love and cherish every moment that we had. We used to ask each other why we were so happy when those around us weren't. After you were taken, I thought that maybe it was because God knew we had a very short time together on this earth. One day we will be together more more tears.....until that day......

Jenny Pohlman Liepitz

April 18, 2016

Deputy Pohlman, I grew up a few blocks from where you gave the ultimate sacrifice. A gang and drug infested area. I remember the day it happened and where it happened. I can vividly remember all the black and whites in the area, and all the deputies at the scene like it happened yesterday. I pass the location every day on my way to work, more times than not, I look up at the raised manhole cover and try to reflect how the tragedy occurred. In 1978, I was 21 years old and ready to enter the LAPD academy. I went on to serve 20 years with LAPD, and retired as a sergeant. Half of my career was spent in C.R.A.S.H. dealing with all the gangsters and dope on the street. I have a daughter in law enforcement, and my son is now in the Los Angeles County Deputy Sheriffs academy. I like many wish we could have been there, or close enough to assist you in anyway in the hopes that this would have had a different outcome.

Sir, may you continue to rest in peace, thank you for your service and you will never be forgotten.

Sergeant, Retired 22422

March 11, 2016

RIP Deputy Pohlman. Your legacy continues to impact the Law Enforcement Family to this day.
Thank your for your service.

Recruit Cossey Class #411

February 7, 2016

RIP Deputy Pohlman.
Your story will forever be with me.
God bless you and your family.

DST Maldonado

January 28, 2016


Tomorrow, it will be 37 years since the day you were taken from us. I want you to know that your sacrifice will not be forgotten, and that the lessons learned from your ordeal are still being taught and saving the lives of young police officers and deputy sheriffs to this day. I was a young academy cadet searching for your revolver on that day in 1978. Since that day, your presence was with me every time I chased a suspect. These days, it's my honor to pass those lessons on to the next generation.

Thank you, God bless you and rest in peace.

Phil Hansen, Captain (Ret.)
Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department

April 17, 2015

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


March 21, 2014

I was a rookie in Hollenbeck in 1978. I recall when the incident went down where Deputy Pohlman was killed. The following day my training officer drove us down to the ELA substation. We delivered some cash that was collected for the family. I will never forget the somber feeling in that station and the sadness in everyone's eyes. It was my first experience with the death of a fellow officer. Over the course of my career I wound up attending too many funerals for other coppers like so many of us do but I will forever remember the impact of this first one. Rest in peace Brother and I pray that your family continues to find the strength to live on with you in their hearts.

Len Mora PO-III

March 14, 2014

To Thomas Pohlman and Family,

This year I participated in the 2013 Police Unity Tour. It was an amazing adventure I could not have accomplished without the support of East Los Angeles Station personnel. It was an honor to ride and stand at the Candle Light Vigil in your memory. I wish I had taken the opportunity to ride in tribute to your service long ago. Next year I will again ride in your memory and will continue to do so for years to come.

The National Law Enforcement Museum is scheduled to open within the next few years. Each year I will bring something from East LA Station to place at your memorial in the museum.

Until next year, watch over us all.

God Bless.

Sergeant John C. Mosquera
Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department

May 19, 2013

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