On Wednesday, April 15, 1981, we buried one of our own, a fellow police officer, Wayne Presley was first with many people. Unfortunately, he became first at what no one wanted to claim; the first police officer for the City of Downey to be killed in the line of duty since the department was founded in 1957.
How ironic, with all the violence on our streets, the cries for gun control, and recent attempts of assassination, that Officer Presley was lost to us in a traffic accident. It was not, however, just an accident, nor was it deliberate. It resulted when one person felt capable of safely operating an automobile despite the consumption of a significant amount of alcohol.
In the last year four Downey police officers have been injured, one of them fatally as the result of accidents involving drivers who had been drinking. Three of the officers were injured in the last 30 days.