Family, Friends & Fellow Officers Remember...

Police Officer Leonard A. Christiansen

Riverside Police Department, California

End of Watch Friday, April 2, 1971

Leave a Reflection

Reflections for Police Officer Leonard A. Christiansen

1971. What turbulent times for our profession. We were still reeling from the shock and horror that had taken place in Newhall almost a year to the night that you and Paul Teel stepped from your patrol car on Ottawa Ave to take a burglary report. In the wake of many a law enforcement officer's death, a lesson can be gleaned or a tactic developed to mitigate or reduce the chance of a repetitively fatal outcome. But your loss, and the that of Paul Teel, reminds us more of a frightening reality than a tactical legacy - the reality of vulnerability. You remind us for all the tactical tweaking we can do, for all of the "don't park in front of the house" procedures we follow, at some point we still have to cross the yard or walk up the driveway to the door. That is the "tactical" legacy you and Paul Teel left our profession. A reminder there will always be that measure of "vulnerability".

On this date of your incident anniversary I thank you Officer Leonard Christiansen for your service to the community and to our profession...and for your willingness to "walk to the door". And to your family I say, thank you for sharing Leonard with the rest of us.

NC Officer

April 2, 2021

Rest in peace always knowing that your service and sacrifice will never, ever be forgotten by your law enforcement brethren.

Detective Cpl/3 Steven Rizzo
Delaware State Police (Retired)

April 2, 2021

Officer Christiansen,
On today, the 50th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for the citizens of Riverside. And to your Family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.


United States Border Patrol

April 2, 2021

Rest in peace Officer Christiansen.

Rabbi Lewis S. Davis

April 5, 2020

Rest In Peace Brother in Blue. You are honored and remembered on the 47th anniversary of your EOW.

Officer Mike Robinson (Ret)
Upland Police Dept. CA

April 2, 2018

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

Marshal Chris Di Gerolamo
Federal Air Marshal Service

February 10, 2013

Your sacrifice, at the hand of a coward, honors you, your department, your chosen vocation, your service, family and friends, your community and the larger law enforcement community. I pray that your family, colleagues, friends and community continue to heal, remember and honor you.

Now the community and your department must deal with another similar cowardly act resulting in the loss of one Riverside Officer and the serious wounding of another. My thoughts and prayers are with these most recent victims, their families and friends, the department and the community.

Continue to Rest in Peace - and welcome another Riverside hero in the next Life.

Retired Police Chief, Colorado
Former Riverside Resident

February 8, 2013

Officer Christiansen,
On today, the 41st anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you to you and your partner for your service and sacrifice for the citizens of Riverside. And to your family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.


United States Border Patrol

April 2, 2012

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

Officer 11169

January 19, 2012

40 years!! I can't believe it. I remember that night so vividly. I pray for you and Paul and your family. Just wanted you to know you are still in our hearts and thoughts!!
Watch over all the boys in blue and keep them safe. Much love.

LoVae Pray Martines,Law Enf.Liaison
MADD-San Bernardino Chapter

April 3, 2011

Another year has passed and you are still admired and respectfully remembered in the hearts and minds of so many. My thoughts and prayers are with your loved ones and friends on this anniversary of your EOW. You will never be forgotten.

James Sheppard
Father of Sgt. Jason L. Sheppard EOW 12/7/06

April 2, 2010

Dear Chris: You would be so proud of your family and how they have endured their loss of you!! We all miss you so much and as I think back on that night and wish it had never happened I remember when you pulled me over for speeding not too long before this. Me!! Speeding!! OH, no!!

But you were kind and professional and I tried not to be "Lead Foot Lovie" again!!

Just wanted you to know you were being remembered on this tragic anniversary. Love to Jan and the kids.

Friend, LoVae

LoVae Pray Martines, Law Enf. Liaison
MADD, San Bernardino County, CA

April 2, 2009

Your heroism and service is honored today, the thirty eighth anniversary 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 murdered in the line of duty on April 24, 2005 while serving as a Pittsburg, CA police officer.

Rest In Peace

I am so sorry you were robbed of your life at such a young age and in such a brutal murder. I also regret that our criminal justice system deprived you of justice. What a bitter blow that must have been for your family and department. I hold your family in my heart's embrace today.

Phyllis Loya

Phyllis Loya
mother of fallen officer Larry Lasater

April 2, 2009

I never knew Christiansen or Teel and was only 2 years old in 1971.

My father worked for the department when this occurred. He volunteered to work the radio room that April night. Back then things were different than they are now, and policeman were sometimes asked to work the radio room when dispatch was short-handed.

Although I wanted to become a policeman like Leonard, Paul, and my father, I never did. However, I feel I have a connection to the RPD officers of this era, mostly because of my father. He died young also, in 1976.

I visit Paul and Leonard’s resting place on occasion. That spot at Crestlawn has a feeling to it I cannot describe. It is emotionally moving. There are many others there with Paul and Leonard who served our community. I guess what I’m trying to say is that we owe them a lot ... they are my true heroes ... policemen.

Michael E. Hartmann, Riverside

May 12, 2008


Pat Van Den Berghe

April 7, 2008

A few weeks before this senseless tragedy, I was fortunate to be stopped by Officers Christiansen and Teel for a traffic violation. I was clearly in the wrong and was prepared to receive my due. Recognizing my positive and humble attitude, instead of a citation, Officer Christiansen explained to me the virtues of safe driving. I’ve never forgotten that encounter and have never received a moving violation.

I was a young sergeant at March AFB in 1971. Upon my separation from the Air Force I went home and became a law enforcement officer and eventually chief of the department. The short, yet effective, lesson given me in 1971 was passed on to many young people during my tenure in public safety.

We never know how many people we touch, directly or indirectly, during our short lives on Earth. “Blessed are the peacemakers..”

Former Chief

December 20, 2007

"The Badge"
He starts his shift each day
To respond to calls unknown.
He drives a marked patrol car.
A police officer he is known.
He's paid by the citizens' taxes
To make it safe on the streets.
But he usually has a second job
'Cause a waitress has his salary beat.
Now he doesn't know a holiday
'Cause he works all year round.
And when Thanksgiving and Christmas finally arrive
At his home he cannot be found.
He's cursed and assaulted often,
The one whos blood runs blue.
He seldom ever gets a thanks,
To some he's just a fool.
His friends are always other cops
'Cause people just don't understand
That underneath his badge and gun,
He's just another man.
He knows there might not be a tomorrow
In this world of drugs and crime.
And he gets so mad at the court system
'Cause the crooks don't get any time.
And each day when he leaves for work,
He prays to God above.
Please bring me home after my shift
So I can see the ones I love.
But tonight he stops a speeding car,
He's alone down this ole' highway.
It's just a little traffic infraction.
He does it everyday.
Well, he walks up to the driver's window,
And his badge is shining bright.
He asked the guy for a driver's license,
When a shot rang through the night.
Yes, the bullet hit its mark,
Striking the officer in the chest.
But the Department's budget didn't buy
Each officer a bullet-proof vest.
So he lay on the ground bleeding.
His blood wasn't blue - His blood was red.
And briefly he thought of his loved ones
'Cause in a moment the officer was dead.
In the news they told the story
Of how this officer had died.
And some who listened cared less,
But those who loved him cried.
Well, they buried him in uniform
With his badge pinned on his chest.
He even had his revolver,
He died doing his best.
Written By:
David L. Bell
Richland County Sheriff's Department
Columbia, South Carolina
Used with Special Permission of the Author
Copyright © 1999 - All Rights Reserved
and may not be duplicated without permission

Investigator David L Bell
Richland County Sheriff's Dept., Columbia, SC

September 20, 2007

This sad and tragic story was brought to my attention through the movie "The Ambush Murders." It's a painful and eye opening reminder of the dangers we as law enforcement officers go through every day. I hope these two young and brave officers are honored and memorialized by their departments every year for their sacrifice, and it goes without saying that they are remembered always by their law enforcement brethren. God Bless them and their families.

Cpl/1 Steven Rizzo
Delaware State Police

April 27, 2007

Daddy, I'm about to graduate from Citizen's Academy and have gained such a respect for the work that you and Steve do. You would be so proud of him!

I finally conquered my fear of guns thanks to Citizen's Academy by visiting the Range and learning to fire a handgun. That was a tough one.

I miss you so much and think of you often. I'm so glad my Hannah still has her dad. Every year she and Scott go to the "Father-Daughter Dinner-Dance" and every year I'm so thankful she has a Daddy. We never did get a date.

Love you!



November 13, 2006

What a happy surprise it was to see my husband's smiling face when I opened this site. "Chris" you will always be remembered - have never been forgotten. Till we meet again, All my love, Jan

Jan Christiansen

October 27, 2006

RIP, Officer Christiansen and we thank you for your sevice to Riverside Police Department. God will take care of the ones who murder you and your partner

Pecos Police Department
Pecos, Texas.

October 12, 2006

Chris: You are still missed after all these years. How proud you must be of your family. Jan is just as beautiful as always and your kids and grandkids are lovely. I know you look at us from up above. I see the family each year at the memorial service at RPD. I come every year and they must wonder who the old broad is, but I pay my respects to you and Paul and of course, to all the others. Keep my troops down here safe.

See you someday.

Love, LoVae

Friend LoVae Pray Martines

March 5, 2006

To the Christiansen Family,

I will always feel close to you for having gone through the same loss with my father, Officer Larry Walters. It was very difficult growing up without my dad, but just knowing that there were other kids going through the same challenges, helped me get through those times. Although I am miles away, I think of your family fondly and pray that God is with you always.

Tamela Verlare (Tami Walters)

Tamela Verlare

November 16, 2005

Many times I remember Lenny and his infectious personality. These memories return periodically since high school (Glendale High). He was a good friend and evidently remained that way to all. Glad to read his family has grown and held in such esteem by one of his fellow officers (reflections page). Amazing how some people have such an affect on people.

July 8, 2005

I thank you for your service and salute you for your sacrifice.

Rest in peace, Hero.

September 27, 2004

Want even more control of your Reflection? Create a free ODMP account now for these benefits:

  • Quick access to your heroes
  • Reflections published quicker
  • Save a Reflection signature
  • View, edit or delete any Reflection you've left in the past

Create an account for more options, or use this form to leave a Reflection now.