Achieving his goal of becoming a Motorcycle Officer in March of 1970, Ofc. Charles Christopher Caraccilo served in the San Fernando Valley area for a little over three years. Today, police officers across the country take their ballistic vests for granted. In 1973, the wearing of ballistic vests was almost unheard of. Ample daylight was still present, at 7:30 p.m. on June 21, 1973, when Caraccilo made a routine stop of a motorist and approached with the intent to warn or cite for a traffic violation. As Caraccilo approached, the driver of the stopped vehicle fired a single gunshot, which struck him in his heart. Charles Caraccilo died on the streets of the city he had served with distinction for 14 years.
Caraccilo was born on February 6, 1938, in Omaha, Nebraska. His parents brought him to California in 1943, where he was reared in the Hollywood and West Los Angeles areas. Graduating from San Fernando High School in 1957, he briefly attended Valley Junior College. Prior to his acceptance by the Los Angeles Police Department, Caraccilo worked as a machinist and enlisted in the California National Guard where he advanced to the rank of Staff Sergeant with the 132nd Armored – Combat Engineer Battalion.
On May 4, 1959, Caraccilo was appointed as a Policeman for the City of Los Angeles. After probation in the L.A. downtown Central Area, he served in the West L.A., Hollywood and Foothill areas. While in the Valley Area of Los Angeles, he developed his talents as a traffic enforcement officer, hoping one day to become a Motorcycle Officer.
Away from the Department, from his first marriage Caraccilo was a father to a daughter, Gina; and son, Jon. From his second marriage to Aileen, he was raising three more children – two daughters, Romi and Reiko; and a son, Rikio.