(The following article was written by CHP Inland Division Air Operation Flight Officer Davis Rouse as a tribute to fellow Air Operations Officer Larry Jaramillo and in remembrance of a good friend.)
On June 22, 1993, Officer Larry Jaramillo lost his life in an on-duty traffic collision while returning from court. Without warning, one of our finest was cruelly taken from us. Sadly, he was not the first this year. Once again we mourn for a departed comrade and experience the profound sense of loss we all feel when one of our own is lost.
The faces of his children filled my mind and brought tears to my eyes. I reflected on our friendship, the time we had shared together and the many things we had in common. A unique and special person among an organization of special people was gone forever.
I had the opportunity to work with Larry as both a peer and a supervisor. I admired and respected him for his dedication and sense of duty. He worked hard to get where he was and once there, worked even harder to better himself.
His attitude was always positive, and he was an excellent representative of our air operations unit and the department as a whole. The overwhelming representation of law enforcement agencies and the many civilians who turned out to pay their final respects to Larry was a tribute to his character.
He once performed unassisted CPR for 20 minutes on an accident victim who had little chance of survival under the best of conditions. Additionally, the victim weighed nearly 300 pounds and was trapped inside his truck.
On another occasion, he was solely responsible for saving the lives of two teen-aged boys stranded in the mountains after a severe snow storm. This he did at some risk to his own safety.
Despite his reluctance to accept recognition for his achievements, Larry was honored as the CHP’s Latino Peace Officer of the Year shortly before his death.
Earlier in the year, I had the pleasure of nominating him for the state’s Special Act Award for the aforementioned rescue of two youths. His wife, June, who is also a traffic officer assigned to the Barstow area, accepted the award for Larry at his memorial service.
Larry came from a large and close-knit family. He was the father of three beautiful daughters whom he loved very much. He was a former Marine, having served with an elite recon unit. He took pride in having worn the Marine uniform and I know he was proud to wear the uniform of the California Highway Patrol.
We must now say farewell to our comrade. We shall all mourn him, but for those of us who called him friend and for those who loved him, the pain of our loss is deeper and the sorrow greater.
Our lives have been made richer for having known him. Our fond and cherished memories of him will live on forever in our hearts and minds. Goodbye friend, you will not lie forgotten.
A trust fund has been established for Jaramillo’s family. Please make check to CHP-1199 Foundation, P0. Box 811, Norwalk, CA 90651-0811, in memory of Larry Jaramillo.