Family, Friends & Fellow Officers Remember...

Sergeant Vernon T. Vanderpool

Palos Verdes Estates Police Department, California

End of Watch Monday, February 14, 1994

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Reflections for Sergeant Vernon T. Vanderpool

Sir, first and foremost, I would like to thank you for your courageous and non-selfish performance of work during your line of duty that you not only performed the day of this horrific incident, yet throughout your whole career. Sergeant Vanderpool, your tactics and bravery to take down a felonious encounter without thinking twice about putting your life on the line leaves me thankful for having law enforcement officials like yourself in this world. I face the Memorial Wall at Biscailuz Academy Center and see your name on the wall and salute to you for your service.

As for myself who is currently in the academy striving to become a Los Angeles Sheriff Department Deputy, I myself desire to protect and serve every individual in the community not only when they are in times of conflict, but also when they need guidance. The date of your EOW leaves me shattered due to it being not only Valentine's Day, but also the anniversary of your marriage. I cannot imagine how difficult it was for your wife and family knowing that during the day where "love is in the air" and it being the day of your marriage anniversary, your loved ones received notice of you being fatally wounded due to your brave and courageous method of operation for the specified date. I salute to you and may you be resting peacefully. Thank you always for putting your life on the line in order to stop the threat and endangering more individuals in the community.

DST Recruit Zendejas
Los Angeles Sheriff Department

April 4, 2019

Semper Fi. I worked South LA CHP area in1969-72 and know your area well. So beautiful. I remember hearing about this tragedy the day it happened. How sad and how brave for you to take action and save many lives. I’ve read the entry from your daughter and it brought tears to my eyes. Please know that your daughter has every right to be proud of you. We are all very proud to know that you gave your life for your fellow brothers and sisters in Blue. Thank you for your service and God Bless you and your family.

State Traffic Officer 7185 Mike Becze
California Highway Patrol

February 16, 2019

25 years seems to have gone by in the blink of an eye. And while so much has changed in our lives over the years, one thing has remained constant… how much you are still loved and missed every single day.

At least you are not alone anymore. Mom is with you, now. Let me guess… her first words to you were “What were you thinking?” and then she gave you a little smack on the chest followed by a big hug and an even bigger kiss. Silly question, really. Anyone who knew you knows exactly what you were thinking, even her. You always put others before yourself, so why would that day have been any different? Your caring nature was one of the things that made you such a great police officer, not to mention an amazing husband and father.

This year it feels weird not to spend today with Mom and listen to her reminisce about all of your adventures together. But for the first time in 25 years, you are able to spend today, your wedding anniversary, with each other once again. So hug each other for me, and this year, reminisce over family memories and remember how much your family loves you… now and forever.

Kathleen Vanderpool
Daughter

February 14, 2019

Sgt. Vanderpool,
On today, the 24th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you to you and your fellow Officer who was also killed in that incident for your service and sacrifice for the citizens of Palos Verdes Estates. And to your Family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.

R.I.P.
USBP

Anonymous
United States Border Patrol

February 14, 2018

Rest In Peace Brother in Blue. You are not forgotten.

Officer Mike Robinson (Ret)
Upland Police Dept. CA

February 14, 2018

Remembering you still. Our hearts and prayers continue to be with family, friends and the PVEPD.

Service Officer Herrera
Palos Verdes Estates Police Department

February 14, 2017

R.I.P. Tom. We haven't forgotten you.

Sgt. Ken Gow (Ret.)
Oceanside (CA) P.D.

February 14, 2017

Kathleen, what a loyal, beautiful, moving tribute to your Dad. I honor him and his sergeant. HONOR . . . REVERENCE . . . RESPECT . . NEVER FORGOT ! God has him a special place, and will always watch over and protect him. Thank you for your sincere and dedicated love for, and loyalty to your Dad and your police captain.

ATF Special Agent Jim Crotty (Retired)
Former Richmond, VA Police Officer.

October 20, 2016

Well Dad, it has been 20 years and I still think of you every day. It doesn't seem that long, and yet it feels even longer since I've had one of your big bear hugs. The beautiful memorial ceremony on the 14th reminded us all that while you may be gone, you have not been forgotten. Our extreme gratitude goes out to everyone who made that day possible.

I am constantly finding things I want to tell with you or wish I could show you. Wouldn't you LOVE digital cameras! You've missed out on so many big life moments... weddings, grandchildren, Mom's reign as video keno queen...and yet, we have felt you there with us every step of the way.

Never doubt you are loved, and judging by touching 20th anniversary remembrances, you are also still respected. You are, and always have been, my hero.

Kathleen Vanderpool
Daughter

February 18, 2014

Sgt,

On the 20th Anniversary of your passing, we remember and honor you. May you Rest in Peace and thank you for your service.

Corporal Dave Blitz
Palos Verdes Estates Police Department

February 14, 2014

It was 20 years ago today, but I remember this tragedy like it happened yesterday. I was one of the CSI officers called to the scene at the Holiday Inn on Valentine's Day, 1994.

For several years, I was haunted for an explanation why two veteran officers lost their lives that day. I eventually came to the revelation that their death brought the local law enforcement community together and made us stronger. And, the lessons learned that day helped hone survival techniques for fellow officers.

Rest in peace, gentlemen. Your sacrifice was not in vain.

Todd Reynolds, CSI (Retired)
Torrance Police Dept.

February 14, 2014

I remember you everyday as you were the one who inspired me to become a police officer. I am big in community service, cops4kids, and many others...I earned my BS and MS in CJ because you said education was so important! I want you to know that I helped TGV as much as I could but he would not listen. I love you Mr. (Sgt.) V and I have dedicated my career to you! This day in 1994 was my second worst day of my life after my own Father was killed. God Bless you Sir, God Bless you!

Ofc. Steven Ondreck, MSCJ
FJPD, Ohio

February 14, 2013

Warrior and Hero!!!

Inspector

April 18, 2012

Your heroism and service is honored today, the 18th 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.

Time never diminishes respect and your memory will always be honored and revered.

Rest In Peace

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

February 14, 2012

Rest in Peace, Sergeant Vanderpool. Your sacrifice is not forgotten.

Officer 11169

January 19, 2012

Uncle Tom,
As Christmas gets closer, I caught myself thinking of you. I fondly remember growing up with personal visits from Santa. When I was older, and knew it was you, I enjoyed watching the faces of the young kids meeting Santa. It has been almost 20 years - you are still missed - I'll never forget you.

Kenneth Gow, Sergeant
Field Operations Division - Traffic Services Unit
Oceanside (CA) Police Department

December 12, 2011

You are not forgotten. My thoughts and prayers are with all who love and miss you.

Constable Amanda Pandolfi #1249
York Regional Police, Ontario Canada

February 14, 2011

Sergeant Vanderpool, sixteen (16) years later you are still remembered, with honour.

Thank you for your service. You died a hero protecting the citizens of California. A tragic and unnecessary loss.

Anonymous

June 5, 2010

Uncle Tom,
As I prepare for my annual trip to Sacramento for the Peace Officer Memorial Ceremony, my thoughts naturally are on those names I know I’ll see on the monument:

Sgt. Vernon Thomas Vanderpool - Palos Verdes Estates Police Department

Capt. Michael Wayne Tracy - Palos Verdes Estates Police Department

Officer Tony W. Zeppetella - Oceanside Police Department

Officer Dan Bessant - Oceanside Police Department

I think of you all often, and I have tried to remember the lesson:

Say it Now

Why wait until tomorrow to tell someone you care?
For beyond the dawn tomorrow, you may not find them there.
The past now lies behind us, and tomorrow may not come.
We only have today my friend, to beat upon life's drum.

Friend, why not say, "I love you!" to those you hold dear,
for time is such a fragile thing that death may soon appear. Let others know you love them so there's never a doubt. The best time is now my friend, to try and work things out.

If you keep your love a secret, it cannot multiply,
for love when it's neglected, begins to slowly die.
Go hug your wife and children - Go shed a happy tear!
And love will pay grand dividends each day throughout the year.

Clay Harrison

Rest in Peace Uncle Tom,

Sergeant Kenneth Gow
Oceanside Police Department

Sgt. Kenneth Gow
Oceanside P.D.

April 26, 2010

To Sgt. Vernon Tom Vanderpool, his loved ones, and his fellow officers:

On this the fifteenth anniversary of your tragic death, please know that your memory is honored and revered today.

My heart is with all family members and friends who call you beloved. They are all in my thoughts and prayers today.

This world, this country, your community truly are better places because of you. To have lost you is a great tragedy, an irreplaceable, immeasurable loss for society. We are grateful for and to you, and honor you for all you did for us day in and day out whether you received a word of thanks or praise.

Rest in Peace, Tom. I am so humbled by your valor and service.

This reflection is sent with the utmost respect for the distinquished service Tom gave to his community and the citizens of California, and for the supreme sacrifice he and his family made on February 14, 1994.

Phyllis Loya, mother of fallen officer Larry Lasater, Pittsburg PD, eow 4/24/05

Phyllis Loya
mother of fallen officer Larry Lasater

February 13, 2009

Dar Sergeant Vanderpool,

My fiance, Dave Blitz worked with you at Palos Verdes Estates Police Department and I grew up in the South Bay and remember that horrible event. To this day those that lived in the area are still impacted by your loss. You were so heroic in your actions. Dave often speaks about you and has such nice memories of his time working with you. I always think of you and Captain Tracy whenever I walk by your memorial plaque outside the front of the station and will visit that memorial this Saturday on the anniversary of your death to honor both of you for your service. Rest in Peace.

Kat Meredith
Fiance of a Palos Verdes Estates Police Officer

February 13, 2009

You died on Valentine's Day. What a sad reminder for your loved ones. My Dad
also died on Valentine's Day, but I asked the Lord not to take him on the 13th
cuz that's my birthday.
You and the officer gunned down with you were seasoned officers well on your
way to retirement which you so richly deserved. What a crying shame!
Lynn Kole
Bellingham, WA

May 19, 2008

YOU ARE REMEMBERED TODAY AND THANK YOU SIR FOR YOUR SERVICE

VANDENBERGHE
MANCHESTER, NH

January 15, 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
Sergeant
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

Your gone but not forgotten.

P.O. Chris Welby
Bridgeton, Mo.

February 14, 2006

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