The Three Palo Alto Officers Who Were Lost in the Line of Duty

Gene A. Clifton. (Credit: The Officer Down Memorial Page.)
Gene A. Clifton. (Credit: The Officer Down Memorial Page.)
The Palo Alto Police Department is holding a special ceremony Thursday  -- May 15 -- on National Peace Officers Memorial Day to dedicate a grove of massive Coast Redwood trees in memory of the three officers who have fallen in Palo Alto history. 

[Related: Redwood Trees to be Dedicated Thursday in Honor of Palo Alto's Fallen Officers.]

Here are the officers:

Police Officer Gene A. Clifton 

Palo Alto Police Department, California

End of Watch: Friday, November 19, 1971

Officer Gene Clifton died as a result of a gunshot wound received on October 1, 1971. 

Officer Clifton was fatally wounded during a joint operation with the Federal Bureau of Narcotics and the Palo Alto Police Department. A team of officers were attempting to execute a search warrant at a residence. The officers were already inside the residence when a suspect fired shots at the officers and ran into a bedroom. Officer Clifton was standing outside the bedroom when the suspect continued shooting, and a bullet went through the wall and struck him in the abdomen. 

After Officer Clifton was shot another Palo Alto officer shot the suspect in the face with a shotgun. 

Officer Clifton had served with the Palo Alto Police Department for four years. He is survived by his wife, parents, and two sisters.

Read more: http://www.odmp.org/officer/3164-police-officer-gene-a-clifton#ixzz31kt6VofW

Reserve Officer Theodore Herman Brassinga
Palo Alto Police Department

End of Watch: Sunday, May 15, 1994

Reserve Officer Theodore Brassinga was accidentally shot and killed during a multi-agency training exercise aboard an Amtrak train for the 1994 World Cup Soccer tournament. The officers in the exercise were supposed to have unloaded weapons.

Officer Brassinga had served with the Palo Alto Police Department for 1 year. 

He is survived by his wife and son.

Read more: http://www.odmp.org/officer/652-reserve-officer-theodore-herman-brassinga#ixzz31kssJH3P

Reserve Officer Lester H. Cole 
Palo Alto Police Department

End of Watch: Friday, January 31, 1969

Reserve Officer Lester Cole was laying flares at an accident scene when he was struck and killed by the driver of an automobile. The driver reported he never saw the officer.

Officer Cole was a veteran of the U.S. Navy and U.S. Merchant Marines. He had served as a reserve officer with the Palo Alto Police Department for 14 years and was survived by his wife and children.

Read more: http://www.odmp.org/officer/3245-reserve-officer-lester-h-cole#ixzz31ktP8M8d

Information provided by The Officer Down Memorial Page, Inc., (ODMP) is a non-profit organization dedicated to honoring America's fallen law enforcement heroes. More than 20,000 officers have made the ultimate sacrifice in the United States and it is with great honor that the ODMP pays a lasting tribute to each of these officers by preserving their memories within its pages.

All who visit the ODMP will be deeply moved by the countless stories of selfless courage and heroism exhibited by officers who lost their lives while serving and protecting the citizens of this great nation.

Read more: http://www.odmp.org/info/about-odmp#ixzz31kueXh1Y


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