LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Riverside Officer Leonard Christiansen and his partner were responding to a burglary call one night in 1971, when they were ambushed and killed in the line of duty.
The tragic incident led to the changes in police procedure and training both locally and nationally.
Today, Courtney Christiansen, Officer Christiansen’s granddaughter, is honoring him after her documentary about his murder and its effect on law enforcement has earned praise at a number of levels.
The award-winning documentary, titled Ambush Murders Change a City and its Country: A Turning Point in Police Training, was originally put together for a national history competition.
It took Courtney seven months to gather information and document her grandfather’s case.
“It was definitely known across the nation,” Courtney said. “But its not something [where] you can just open your history book and say ‘Oh well look at all this information’”.
Courtney’s father, a detective himself, spoke on the effect his father’s murder had on law enforcement training and protocol.
“Across the nation, what they started to do was they started to train guys and teach people, teach officers, don’t pull in the driveway,” he said.
The documentary has won awards at both the district and county levels, making it as far as the state competition.