Family, Friends & Fellow Officers Remember...

Officer Joseph R. Wilson

Burbank Police Department, California

End of Watch Saturday, June 17, 1961

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Reflections for Officer Joseph R. Wilson

Rest In Peace Brother LEO. Thank you and your family for your sacrifice and service to this country.

Officer Mike Robinson
Upland Police Dept. CA

June 17, 2018

Time may have passed but you are not forgotten. I believe as long as someone remembers you or speaks your name, you are still with us.
Thank you for your heroism.
GOD Bless

Detention Officer A.Zambito
Texas

June 17, 2015

"Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God."
Matthew 5:9

Marshal Chris Di Gerolamo
Federal Air Marshal Service

September 22, 2014

To fully appreciate the heroes of the present, we must recognize our heroes of the past. Your heroism and service is honored today, the 51rst anniversary year of your death. Your memory lives and you continue to inspire. Thank you for your service. My cherished son Larry Lasater was a fellow police officer who was murdered in the line of duty on April 24, 2005 while serving as a Pittsburg, CA police officer.

Time never diminishes respect. Your memory will always be honored and revered. Rest In Peace.

Anyone who reads the moving reflection left by Don Ray now shares a true appreciation for the impact you had on many young minds. A simply beautiufl tribute to a hero and if your family ever reads it they will be touched by the respect their father engendered. I pray for the solace of your family for I know both the pain and pride are forever.

Phyllis Loya
Mom of fallen California Officer Larry Lasater, Pittsburg PD, eow 4/24/05

November 24, 2012

To fully appreciate the heroes of the present, we must recognize our heroes of the past. Your heroism and service is honored today, the 51rst anniversary year of your death. Your memory lives and you continue to inspire. Thank you for your service. My cherished son Larry Lasater was a fellow police officer who was murdered in the line of duty on April 24, 2005 while serving as a Pittsburg, CA police officer.

Time never diminishes respect. Your memory will always be honored and revered. Rest In Peace.

Anyone who reads the moving reflection left by Don Ray now shares a true appreciation for the impact you had on many young minds. A simply beautiufl tribute to a hero and if your family ever reads it they will be touched by the respect their father engendered. I pray for the solace of your family for I know both the pain and pride are forever.

Phyllis Loya
Mom of fallen California Officer Larry Lasater, Pittsburg PD, eow 4/24/05

November 24, 2012

To fully appreciate the heroes of the present, we must recognize our heroes of the past. Your heroism and service is honored today, the 51rst anniversary year of your death. Your memory lives and you continue to inspire. Thank you for your service. My cherished son Larry Lasater was a fellow police officer who was murdered in the line of duty on April 24, 2005 while serving as a Pittsburg, CA police officer.

Time never diminishes respect. Your memory will always be honored and revered. Rest In Peace.

Anyone who reads the moving reflection left by Don Ray now shares a true appreciation for the impact you had on many young minds. A simply beautiufl tribute to a hero and if your family ever reads it they will be touched by the respect their father engendered. I pray for the solace of your family for I know both the pain and pride are forever.

Phyllis Loya
Mom of fallen California Officer Larry Lasater, Pittsburg PD, eow 4/24/05

November 24, 2012

Saturday, June 18, 2011
The man who probably saved my life a dozen times
It was 50 years ago today that I learned of his untimely death.

I first saw him parked there on his motorcycle at the corner on Seventh Street and Verdugo Avenue. He was facing north. I was going south. I guess I didn't think the stop sign at Verdugo applied to me, so I ran it. The police officer pointed his gloved finger at me and gestured to where he wanted me to stop.
Then he wrote the ticket.

My first ticket.

Driver: Donald Ray

Age: 10

Vehicle make: Murray Bicycle.

Place of employment: Joaquin Miller School.

Occupation: Grammer School (That's right, he misspelled grammar, but I must confess that I wasn't the one who caught the gaffe).

Anyway, the punishment was mandatory attendance in the basement of the Burbank Police Building on a Saturday morning. It was traffic school for kids. And that same motorcycle cop was in charge.

Officer Joe Wilson.

Truth be told, all of us kids there were frightened when he first stood up in his motorcycle boots and stared us down.

I'll say this: we paid attention to what he had to say. And what he taught was the traffic code -- the rules of the road. It was Officer Joe Wilson who made it clear to us that we had to obey all of the same laws that drivers of automobiles on city streets had to obey. I mean, he made it perfectly clear, or else.

OK, so I was a slow learner. I think I learned them one violation at a time.

It seems that whenever I would find it more convenient to ride on the sidewalk or to give my buddy a ride on the back of my bike, Officer Wilson was watching me.

And he'd ticket me again. Another Saturday. Another lecture. It happened several times over the next couple of years. It got to where I could sing along with Jiminy Cricket in the bicycle safety cartoon Officer Wilson would show us at the end. Jiminy sang it again and again.

"I'm no fool. Nosiree. I'm gonna live to be 23. I play safe for you and me cause I'm no fool."

Of course, the next time he sang it it was 33, then 43 and so on until at least 93.

I believe that Officer Wilson singlehandedly taught an entire generation of young boys (and a few girls) how to drive safely -- for life. It was a time when the Burbank Police Department was willing to invest in a full-time traffic officer to teach young people the rules of the road -- and cite them when they broke those rules.
I wish they would do that today. I believe it would save lives.

There's no way to measure how many lives Officer Wilson saved over the last 50 years. I still think of him as a hero. And I have to believe that his lessons have kept me alive for five decades.

You see, when I watch impatient people drive through stop signs in their cars, or ride their bikes on the sidewalk or speed through intersections, I think about Officer Joseph R. Wilson.

And I think about the drunk driver who, on June 17, 1961, ran a red light and plowed into the police motorcycle that Officer Wilson was driving.

I cried the next morning when I saw it in the Burbank Review.

For many years, his lone photograph was on display in the lobby of the Burbank Police Department. The last time I looked, it was still on display, but there were photos of at least two other Burbank Police Officers who died in the line of duty.

A few years ago, I asked for the cooperation of the media relations officer at BPD -- I wanted to track down the wife and children of Officer Joe Wilson so that I could thank them for what their husband and father did for me. But the Public Information Officer turned me down. Privacy restrictions.

Then I went through the old news clippings at the Burbank Leader (formerly the Burbank Review) and was able to get the details I needed. I pulled Officer Wilson's death certificate at the County Recorder's office to learn more details -- details that might help me find his children. I cited the California Public Records Act in a records request I filed with the Burbank City Attorney's office. They ignored my request to be put in touch with the Officer Wilson's wife or children. I'm usually pretty good at finding people, but I wasn't that lucky this time around.

Maybe it wasn't meant to be.

Officer Joseph R.Wilson died a day or two before Father's Day.

This Father's Day, I honor Officer Joseph R. Wilson, 50 years later.

I believe that he cared about me the way a father would. And he cared about scores of other young Burbank kids the same way.

If somehow this message reaches the children of Officer Wilson -- they'd be in their 50s now -- please know that your father has surely saved countless lives, including mine.

I'm certain.

Don Ray -- officer
U.S. Postal Police 1970s

June 19, 2011

Rest in Peace, Officer Wilson. Your sacrifice is not forgotten.

Officer 11169

June 8, 2009

No fellow Los Angeles County law enforcement personnel killed in the line-of-duty, should be forgotten.

Officer Wilson, may Your Soul Rest-In-Peace

Maj M. B. Parlor
USMC / LAPD

June 17, 2008

47 years since your EOW. Rest in Peace Officer Wilson.

Michigan Resident

June 17, 2008

Rest in Peace Motorman. You are not forgotten.

Motor Officer D.Johnson
Metro Nashville Police Dept.

June 19, 2006

Thank you for your service to the city of burbank, we will never forget your sacrifice. GOD BLESS YOU,REST IN PEACE

Burbank resident

TMP

June 17, 2004

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