Their badges wrapped in black bands of mourning, police officers from throughout the West gathered for a tearful tribute to Officer Howard Ellsworth Dallies Jr. who was gunned down March 9, 1993 during a routine traffic stop.
Dallies, a veteran officer who helped train recruits and was soon to be promoted to sergeant, was remembered as a “fallen hero” in a moving ceremony at the Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove.
A well-liked officer and father of two, the 36-year-old patrolman was the third Southern California police officer to be slain on duty since Feb. 22.
“I do not feel that Howard is a hero simply because of his untimely death at the hands of a cowardly assassin,” Garden Grove Sgt. George Jaramillo said of his slain colleague. “I feel strongly that Howard is a hero because of the way he lived his life. Howard Dallies typified our department’s motto as he lived his life with courage, courtesy and commitment.”
Dallies’ gun was still strapped in its holster when he was shot at 2:45 a.m. on March 9, apparently while making a traffic stop in a quiet residential neighborhood in Garden Grove. He was the fifth officer from Garden Grove, and the 3lst in Orange County to be killed while on duty since 1912. He was wearing a bullet-proof vest when he was shot.
Dailies is survived by his wife, Mary their two sons Christopher, 7, and Scott, 4, and his father, Howard Dallies Sr. At the funeral, Jaramillo quoted Christopher as saying, “I think my dad was a very special man. He was shot but is not forgotten.”
Dallies began his law enforcement career at age 17 in the U.S. Army’s military police force, then attended the Orange County Sheriff’s Academy. Raised in Garden Grove, he joined that city’s force in 1984, after brief stints as an Orange County Sheriff’s Deputy and a police officer in Placentia. Dallies also has worked for Orange County’s Regional Narcotics Suppression Program and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.
During his eight years with Garden Grove, Dallies received 26 citizen commendations and was named a master officer, serving as a mentor for rookies and earning a reputation as a “cop’s cop.”
“He stood out as an exceptional police officer in a department made up of exceptional police officers,” John R. Robertson said at the funeral.
“Howard did have tremendous courage, he had sincere courtesy, he was an officer who could balance the tools of coercion with sympathy and empathy,” added Robertson, a former Garden Grove police chief who now heads the Orange Police Department. “There’s going to be a void because of the tremendous talent Howard Dallies possessed.”
At the funeral, Garden Grove Police Chaplain Steven R. La Fond read a poem sent in by a 13-year-old boy. “He was a hero, not just another man… He was a savior an outstretched hand,” the teenager wrote. “I write for the memory of a man I never knew……. A man who, through death, influenced me too.”
Referring to memorials for slain police officers in Sacramento and Washington, Knee said: “Let us pray, let us set as a goal that Howard Dallies’ name is the last one to be added to those memorials.”