Kevin Cody

Hermosa Beach Police Officer Gary Moss remembered during flag ceremony

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Tom Moss, brother Hermosa Beach Police Motorcycle Officer Gary Moss, with Police Chief Sharon Papa. Photos by Kevin Cody

Tom Moss, brother of Hermosa Beach Police Motorcycle Officer Gary Moss, with Police Chief Sharon Papa. Photos by Kevin Cody

An American flag presented 32 years ago to the family of Hermosa Beach Police Officer Gary Moss by the Hermosa Beach Police Department was returned by the family during a ceremony Tuesday morning at City Hall.

Hermosa Beach Police motorcycle officers Gary Moss and Paul Wolcott in 1982. Photo courtesty of the Hermosa Beach Police Department

Hermosa Beach Police motorcycle officers Gary Moss and Paul Wolcott in 1982. Photo courtesty of the Hermosa Beach Police Department

Moss was pursuing two speeding motorcyclists after midnight on June 20, 1982 when his motorcycle  collided with an automobile. He suffered fatal injuries and died four days later. Moss was 26-years-old and had joined the department just 15 months earlier. He is the only Hermosa police officer to have died in the line of duty.

Hermosa Beach Police Captain Tom Thompson welcomes Tom Moss and his family.

Hermosa Beach Police Captain Tom Thompson welcomes Tom Moss and his family. Looking on are Sgt. Don Jones, Sgt. Robert Higgins and Officer Michael Frilot

Fellow motorcycle officer Paul Wolcott, who had joined the chase, was also seriously injured in the collision, but was subsequently able to return to duty.

The ceremony began and ended with color guard salutes.

Hermosa Beach Police Sgt. Landon Phillips leads the color guard salute.

Moss’ brother Tom Moss presented the memorial flag to Hermosa Beach Police Chief Sharon Papa following a color guard salute by detective Jonathan Cruz, Sgt. Landon Phillips and officer George Brunn. The flag was mounted in a shadow box, which also contained Moss’ police badge and a photograph of him and his police motorcycle.

Hermosa Beach Police Detective Jonathan Cruz raises the flag following the ceremony.

Hermosa Beach Police Detective Jonathan Cruz raises the American flag following the ceremony.

Papa said the shadow box will be displayed in the department’s newly refurbished conference room. She noted that the city had recently planted a colorful, floral garden around the marble memorial to Moss in front of city hall, where Tuesday’s ceremony took place.

Officer Gary Moss' sister-in-law Martha Moss, niece Pam Ackenheil and Captain Tom Thompson.

Officer Gary Moss’ sister-in-law Martha Moss, niece Pam Ackenheil and Captain Tom Thompson.

Captain Tom Thompson, a former motorcycle officer who worked with Moss, assured Moss’ brother and other family members that Moss would never be forgotten.   Scholarships in Moss’ memory are presented annually by Hermosa Beach police officers to Hermosa Valley and and Mira Costa High students. ER

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