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LAPD Honors Officer Killed in 1916

Legacy.com / Nick Ehrhardt

LAPD Honors Officer Killed in 1916

On March 28, 1916, Los Angeles Police Department Officer Walter Kreps left his precinct on Los Angeles' East Side, responding to a call in rural Highland Park. According to LAPDonline, Kreps was a 6-year veteran of the force and a member of its speed squad, accustomed to zipping through traffic on motorcycles and providing rapid response to situations citywide. This call, however, would be Kreps' last, as his motorbike was struck by another LAPD vehicle, killing the young policeman. Kreps, 28, was the department's first motorcycle officer to be killed in the line of duty. He was survived by his wife, Fanchon, and 6-year-old son, Kenneth, and was buried, for reasons still unclear, in an unmarked grave.

For nearly a century, Kreps' final resting place remained anonymous among the graves and monuments at the Angelus-Rosedale Cemetery in Los Angeles. All that changed last month, when the LAPD finally provided a marker for Kreps' gravesite. According to the Los Angeles Daily News, the ceremony was attended by numerous LAPD motor officers as well as Timothy Tumbrink, a distant relative of Kreps, who told ABC 7, "It doesn't get any better than to have LAPD's finest, the motors, here for this ceremony."

Kreps' simple grave marker is adorned with his rank, an image of his badge and the simple message "Killed in the line of duty." A second, temporary memorial was constructed at LAPD headquarters, with a replica of his Indian motorbike. Share the news of Kreps' delayed honors with your friends and family, and remember to stay safe on the roads this holiday season.