Family, Friends & Fellow Officers Remember...

Patrolman Jerry L. Hartless

San Diego Police Department, California

End of Watch Sunday, January 31, 1988

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Reflections for Patrolman Jerry L. Hartless

In July 1982. I was 17 yrs old, left Michigan and joined the Marine Infantry. While in bootcamp no matter what we were doing, no matter how many pushups we had to do, no matter how far we had to run, no matter how many set ups we had to do, no matter what kind of test we had to take. Jerry Hartless was in the lead. He was the best at everything we did. If they rated us for everything we did, his name was at the top of our platoon. Now it is sad watching tv and seeing our friend on gangland, seeing that he was killed trying to do his job.

Jerry Scott
Monroe Michigan


January 17, 2014

To ALL of you that have posted such kind & loving sentiments, I thank you. As the 26th Anniversary approaches, I look back on what was taken from us (both family & friends) and I wonder. What would it be like today? I'm sorry that he never had the privlege of being a parent, but when I see the look on his face in a picture with his Nepfew, I know he would have been great at it. He had our Highs & Lows, but he will always be my Brother. Until we meet again, I miss him everyday.

Danny L. Hartless Sr.

January 15, 2014

Jerry, There is not a single hour that passes, that you are not in my thoughts. You were my Hero from the first time I met you in 1981. I was only eleven, you and my sister took me to the fair to see Rick Springfield in concert. I was probably a total drag to you and my sister but I felt like the luckiest kid in the world. I got to hang out with Jerry Hartless, the best athlete in Hillsdale, Michigan possibly ever! I am positive your track records still stand today in 2013. I was in your wedding to my sister and could not wait to meet my future nieces and nephews. they would have been amazing. I sometimes wonder if there was anything you were not good at?I was at all three trials and have come face to face with the men who gunned you down and were freed on some courtroom technicalities. Cowards! Everyone of them. My mind dances around when I am thinking about you not being here and what a huge loss my sister has endured. You would be so proud of her and what a huge success she has become. She still misses you. We speak of you often and still cry. I guess I hope you hear me and know that you were my brother in my heart and I miss you daily. I can't wait to see you on the other side. Much Love!

Shad Little
Brother In-Law

May 20, 2013

Dear DC Cummins,

I am not LOE. I am just a simple citizen. I saw Jerry Hartless in a documentary and was curious, so I looked up more information.

I hope that you see this and take to heart my words. While it is true that there are some who forget. None who has fallen to the ultimate sacrifice will be forgotten.

Please never lose faith. Never become bitter, for when you do. They have truly won.

Every night and day I pray. I pray for those serving abroad. I pray for those serving at home. I pray for those who run into the flames when all others run away. I pray for those who go out into the darkness when all others lock their doors. I pray for each and every kind of officer to see the end of watch and to show up at the start of their next shift for without them, we are all lost.

Not one life lost is lost in vein. Albert Pike said, "What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal." That could never be more true than for the ultimate sacrifices made my the hero's that choose to run when all else flee.

Ramirez, non LOE
San Diego, CA

February 1, 2013

Jerry, I miss you. It has been 25 years. A wife, two kids and a career I have honored and enjoyed, but I have never forgotten your contribution to my life.
Oh how I have wished for you and Shawn Dee to sit with me and Sharon and talk to about the stress of raising kids. It is the simple things in life I mourn the most for...
How do I explain to the young officers the sacrifice around the corner. We continue to give ourselves; whether soldiers, police or fire...but they forget. The ones we give our lives for tend to blame us, or the system, and it wants to make me bitter.
But I am not bitter because of you, and the men and women just like you, who stand in front, defend and honor your memory by being the very best this nation has to give.
We fight on Jerry, for you and those like you. I miss you my brother and I see your spirit in the young Officers who keep fighting on...

Deputy Chief Dale Cummins
Gresham Oregon PD

January 9, 2013

Was thinking about you today Jerry... as I do every time I visit ODMP. Hope you're enjoying patrolling the streets of Heaven...and you ever slow down so others can keep up? Until we meet again...

Danny McCoy
Corrections Program Coordinator
MI Dept. of Corrections

December 17, 2012

Ecclesiastes 12:14 For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.


November 5, 2012

Jerry was indeed a thoroughbred. I am proud to call him my friend, my schoolmate, and my teammate on the Hillsdale High School track team. Jerry anchored our mile relay team. If the first three of us on the relay could keep it close, there was nobody who could deny us the victory with Jerry anchoring! He gave evrything he had...just as he did on that horrible January night in 1988. Though it appears justice will never be served here in this existence, be assured that proper judgment will be swift and eternal for the cowards who perpetrated the taking of a great individual from his friends, family and community...Rest in Peace...until we meet again...

Danny McCoy
Corrections Program Coordinator
MI Dept. of Corrections

September 24, 2012

RIP officer. Today they showed the story of Officer Hartless on a tv show called Gangland. The wrong message was sent out to the public, when an officer loses his life and it goes unsolved. Thank you and thanks to your family for your sacrifice.

Ret. MP

May 11, 2012

Another year Jerry and we all still miss you. One of my favorite poems reminds me of you. It goes like this:
My candle burns at both ends;
It will not last the night;
But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends–
It gives a lovely light!
*Edna St.Vincent Millay*

Your time here was limited but you were a bright light.

Ruth & Bob May

January 30, 2012

Rest in Peace, Patrolman Hartless. Your sacrifice is not forgotten.

Officer 11169

January 21, 2012

He was a great man that stood up for his country even though i'm only 12 yrs old,I think the thing he did on that horrible night was awesome. I don't know the world we live in where a cop just gets out of a car just to talk and gets shot.That is just speechless. All i did was watch GANGLAND and saw this and it touch my heart that a cop doing his job then die like i said that is speechless.

Abraham Barkayoko

January 7, 2012

Your heroism and service is honored today, the 23rd 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. He was your fellow Marine also so I bid you semper fi.

Phyllis Loya
mom of fallen officer Larry Lasater

January 31, 2011

Today I watched a show called "Gangland", featuring information about the the passing of Officer Hartless. The show seemed to literally glorify the perverse nature of individuals that took Officer Hartless from his family, his co-workers and the decent citizens of San Diego.

Though you left this earth over 20 yrs ago, the disease that took your life still exists, and it is truly disgusting that TV producers protray them as modern robin hoods with any legitimate reasons for even existing.The oath you took to fight against this may not be glorified by these deluded media types, but it will never be forgotten by those of us who know their evil deeds.

When I'm off duty I often frequent the SD area, and feel at peace there, while getting away from the turmoil that is Los Angeles. I am truly thankful for the risks taken by fellow Officers with SDPD, and I am forever appreciative that others gave so much to try and make somewhere as beautiful as San diego a safer place. God Bless and keep you close, Officer Hartless.....

M.K Gentry
L.A. Airport PD

October 2, 2010

Oh Jerry, you've been gone so long, yet our entire family still misses you and thinks of you especially at the end of January. We miss your smile and your wit but are comforted by the fact that even tho'you were with us briefly, you left an indelible mark. Sleep well.

Ruth & Bob May

January 30, 2010

I can't believe it has been 21 years Jerry. We were only 23 when you were taken away. I think about you still. I still remember the funeral... "Jerry was a thoroughbred, and you can not tell a thoroughbred not to race..."

Lt. Dale Cummins
Gresham PD

February 1, 2009

God bless you and keep you always. Your sacrifice is not forgotten.

St. Louis City Police

January 31, 2008

These days, I spend so many of my weekends in San Diego, and in spite of so much political drama, the Men and Women of SDPD simply do their jobs, and keep on stepping.

No fellow Southern California law enforcement personnel killed in the line-of-duty, should be forgotten.

Patrolman Hartless, may Your Soul Rest-In-Peace.

Maj M. B. Parlor

January 31, 2008

My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family on this anniversary.

Former N.H. Police Officer
Fauquier County, Va

January 31, 2008


Pat Van Den Berghe
Neighbors for a Better Manchester, NH

January 22, 2008

"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

I was in the 111th SDPD Police academy when you went to heaven. Many of us learned from you and your name came up often in training especially P.T.
Your last day on earth was also your first day in heaven...Congrats on getting your next assignment. Former officer J.Lane Moscow, idaho

Jack Lane
EPD, La Grande PD, Oregon

February 11, 2005

Officer Hartless,
On today, the 17th anniversary of your murder, I would like to say thank you-not only for your service to to the citizens of San Diego but also to our Country and to our Corps as a Marine.
Semper Fi Devil Dog,
A fellow LEO and former Marine

January 31, 2005


I was in the SDPD academy and on a two week field training with my FTO out of Central Division. My FTO was also a SWAT officer and the morning of your death, I was met by him as he rushed out the building, informing me of what had happened and that he was needed to help find the man who was responsible. Your story was told many times althrough my time with SDPD and now as a Sergeant and FTO with the Kennewick Police Department, I still tell your story with hopes that every officer can learn from the past and make the future a safer place. God Bless you Jerry!

Sgt Mike Genack
Kennewick Police (WA)

October 4, 2003

Officer Hartless's sacrifice should remind all citizens why we should not take our law enforcment officers or those who serve in the millitary for grandet. They put their lives on the line for us everyday for little pay and recieve little respect. In the end though there are those who will not forget.

A Kansas Citizen

August 21, 2003

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