Long Beach Police Department Corporal Edward R. Davenport was found unconscious on the pistol range grounds on Monday, February 3.
A department employee found Davenport on the ground next to a ladder, suffering from a head wound and in full cardiac arrest. The employee administered CPR until the Long Beach Fire Department arrived.
Davenport was transported to Los Alamitos Medical Center where he remained in critical condition until passing away on Tuesday, February 4.
Investigators reported that Davenport was on a ladder performing range maintenance duties prior to being found. The coroner’s report showed that he had fallen from the ladder sustaining a blow that broke his neck when a limb struck his head.
Davenport was hired by the Long Beach Police Department in 1962 and worked numerous assignments including patrol, motors, special investigations, and was a special weapons and tactics team (SWAT) member for more than 30 years.
He most recently served as the SWAT team armorer. He became a range master at the police academy in 1991 and had been providing firearm instruction, testing and maintenance.
“Not only did members of the Long Beach Police Department who came through the academy train with Davenport, but law enforcement personnel from other countries benefited from his years of expertise,” stated department spokeswoman, Nancy Pratt.
Davenport’s longest assignment was with SWAT. His many years of dedication to the elite unit earned him the nickname “Papa SWAT” among his fellow officers.
Davenport had been on the force so long that he was part of the Long Beach P.D.’s “Magnificent Seven,” composed of seven officers who have served on the department for 35 years or more. And while many of the “Seven” had retired by 2001, Davenport was still working strong when he was awarded the police officer association’s (POA) coveted Richard A. Rose Career Achievement Award, given to officers with more than 20 years on the job. In 1992, he was named the department’s “Employee of The Year.”
Chief of Police Anthony Batts announced Davenport’s death at a city council meeting that he was attending. He stated, “Ed Davenport, who we called “Pops” because he’s an icon to this organization, he’s like a father, because we’re like a family, took it upon himself at the Long Beach Police Academy shooting range where he’s been for 21 years – 21 of his 40 years – to go out and cut down some bushes.
Ed, being 64 years of age, went up on a ladder to try to cut down bushes to save the city some money and fell from that ladder, striking his head, sustaining a blow that broke his neck, and also some leg injuries.
“Ed said that he would never leave the Long Beach Police Department, when asked when he was going to retire. This was his life. This was his family. And I’d just like to applaud him and his career.
“And with that, I am going to move to name our Long Beach Police Academy shooting range, where he worked for 21 years, after Ed Davenport, and I will bring that to you in the coming weeks.”
Funeral services for Davenport were held Feb. 10, at the Terrace Theater in Long Beach followed by interment at the Forest Lawn Memorial Park.
Born in 1938 in the small town of Ellsworth, KS, Davenport’s family moved to Long Beach when he was 12-months-old. He graduated from Jordan High School and then joined the U. S. Air Force.
Davenport is survived by his wife of 46 years, Beverly; children and grandchildren, Christy, Mark, Richard and Michelle Stowers; Bob, Cindi, Robert and Jayme Davenport; Darren, Suzanne, Justin and Christopher Davenport; brothers, Bob, Ronald, and Dex Davenport; and sister, Linda Davenport.
Davenport’s sons followed in his footsteps into the career of law enforcement. Robert Davenport hired on with the Long Beach P.D. in 1982, and transferred to the Murrietta P.D. in 1997, becoming one of its founding members. He is currently a detective sergeant and their SWAT team leader. Darren Davenport hired on the Long Beach P.D. in 1987, and is currently a motor sergeant in the Field Support Division.
The family has asked that any donations be sent to the Long Beach POA, in honor of the “Corporal Ed Davenport Memorial Scholarship Fund,” 2865 Temple Avenue, Signal Hill, CA 90806.