Daniel Ackerman was born in 1979 in Long Beach and raised in Buena Park, California. He graduated from Kennedy High School in La Palma in 1991. He attended college in Fullerton and received his AA degree in Law Enforcement and Business.
Ackerman became a Police Explorer for the Buena Park Police Department in 1995. In 2001, he was hired by the Buena Park Police Department as a Reserve Police Officer, and was subsequently hired as a full-time officer in June of 2005. Since that time Officer Ackerman worked as a patrol officer, range-master, SWAT team member, and was most recently assigned to a regional narcotics taskforce.
On Friday, July 29, at approximately 8:15 a.m., Officer Ackerman participated in a bi-annual physical fitness SWAT training exercise. After completing the training exercise, Ackerman reported that he felt faint and dizzy. He was treated at the scene by a full-time physician who trains with the SWAT Team. Ackerman was then taken to nearby St. Jude Hospital and was admitted for treatment. The doctors and medical staff at St. Jude gave Officer Ackerman the best of care as tests were run and treatments applied. Tragically, on July 30th at approximately 3:40am, Officer Ackerman passed away. He was 31 years old.
On the morning of Friday, August 5, 2011, more than 500 people – including family, friends and officers from across the county – celebrated Officer Daniel Ackerman’s life at Seacoast Grace Church in Cypress. He was remembered as a man devoted to law enforcement and his family. “Dan’s tragic death has brought us closer together,” Buena Park Police Chief Corey S. Sianez said. “We loved him very much.”
Ackerman was a family man who was especially close to his younger sister, Christie Thompson. “He knew from the age of five he wanted to become a police officer,” Thompson said.” That became his second home.”
Daniel loved his Harley and enjoyed motorcycle rides with his Uncle Bill every other weekend. Besides his hobbies, which always included rooting for the Raiders, Daniel was most passionate about spending time with his 2 ½-year-old daughter. He loved taking her horseback riding and on trips to Disneyland.
Thompson said Ackerman’s life changed when his daughter, Avery, was born. “He became more humble and slowed down to appreciate the little things,” she said. A week before his death, Ackerman and his family celebrated Avery’s second birthday.
Daniel is survived by his daughter Avery, his mother Cynthia, his sister Christie, his uncle Bill, and aunt Carole.