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Series of Billboards Pay Tribute to LAPD Officers who Died This Year

All of the deaths have come in the last two months.

The memorial billboard for LAPD Officer Chris Cortijo. Photo courtesy Clear Channel.
The memorial billboard for LAPD Officer Chris Cortijo. Photo courtesy Clear Channel.

Originally posted at 4:43 a.m. May 13, 2014. Edited to correct a City News Service. 

Four Los Angeles police officers will be among those honored today by Clear Channel Outdoor, which will use its digital billboards countywide to pay tribute to police officers who died in the past two months.

The tribute -- part of National Police Week -- began Monday. The Los Angeles billboards honor officers Nicholas Lee, Chris Cortijo, Roberto C. Sanchez and George Nagata.

The billboards are found along the 405, 10 and 91 freeways as well as on boards near downtown, said Dagny Akeyson, spokesman for Clear Channel. Another is in the San Fernando Valley at Lankershim and Chandler boulevards in North Hollywood.

Three of the four LAPD officers were killed in traffic crashes and all died in the last two months. Nagata fell ill while on duty last week and died from apparent heart illness. Prior to that period, the department had not lost an officer on duty in nearly six years.

"The recent loss of officers Lee, Cortijo, Sanchez and Nagata serves as a harsh and tragic reminder of the perils of our law enforcement officers face each and every day while working to protect our communities," said Layne Lawson, director of public affairs for Clear Channel Outdoor.

"We are humbled by the sacrifices these men and their families have made for the safety of our city, and are proud to honor their service on billboards across the community in hopes that Angelenos will take a moment to remember those who have fallen and thank those who continue to serve," Lawson said.

"Our law enforcement officers are the unsung heroes of our communities and neighborhoods," added Los Angeles City Councilman Joe Buscaino.

A fifth officer, Det. Ernest L. Allen Sr., died just last week in yet another accident on Loma Vista Drive in Beverly Hills, the same location where Lee was killed.

--City News Service

Patch Editor Penny Arévalo contributed to this report. 

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