(February 4, 2003) -- LBPD Corporal Ed Davenport -- a 40 year veteran of LB's Police Department -- died this afternoon following serious injuries sustained in a fall from a ladder at the LB Police Academy. He was 64.
We post below a statement extemporaneously delivered in Corporal Davenport's honor by LBPD Chief Anthony Batts. Chief Batts spoke at the conclusion of the February 4 City Council meeting after Mayor Beverly O'Neill announced the death of Corporal Davenport (and the meeting's adjournment to honor him among several noteworthy passings.)
Madam Mayor, City Councilmembers. I just wanted to take a second to tell you a little bit about Corporal Ed Davenport, who lost his battle at about 5 o'clock p.m. this afternoon.
I think one of the things that is tough, and I don't know if anybody had to live through that, but burying someone that you have the responsibility for. And I was musing to myself here, probably about a week ago as I passed my three month period [as LBPD Chief] and said it was nice that I haven't had to go through the burial of a police officer.
And then a week later we experience this.
One of the things that I've asked the police officers to do is to stand in support of the budget crisis that we're dealing with, and they've answered up.
Ed Davenport, who we call "Pops" because he's an icon to this organization, he's like a father, because we're like a family, took it upon himself at the [LB Police Academy shooting] range where he's been for 21 years -- 21 of his 40 years -- to go out and cut down some bushes.
Ed, being 64 years of age, went up on a ladder to try to cut down bushes, to save the city some money to assist, and fell from that ladder, striking his head, sustaining a blow that broke his neck, and also some other leg injuries.
Ed was transported to the hospital at the time. He was put on a respirator. We were with Ed throughout the night. Steve James [LB Police Officers Ass'n] president, Frank McCoy [LBPD] Commander, and the rest of the organization. At any given time you had probably about anywhere from 20 to 75 officers there around the clock.
His family and his two sons and his daughter and his wife were there. Ed was taken off the respirator at 5 o'clock, or probably about 4:45 this afternoon and was pronounced deceased at that time.
Ed said he would never leave the Long Beach Police Department, when asked when he was going to retire. This was his life. This was his family.
He leaves a son, who's a Sergeant for us in our motor unit on our SWAT team. Another son who's a Sergeant at Murietta Police Dept. who used to be an officer here. And a daughter Christy and his wife, Beverly.
And I'd just like to applaud him and his career.
And with that, I am going to move to name our [LB Police Academy shooting] range, where he worked for 21 years, after Ed Davenport, and I will bring that to you in the coming weeks.
I thank you.