WHITTIER (CBSLA.com) — The Los Angeles Police Emerald Society Pipes and Drums, made up of active and retired Southland law enforcement officers, practiced Friday for the upcoming funerals of two fallen officers.
CBS2’s Stacey Butler said the group might soon be asked to play at the funeral of the off-duty detective who was killed Friday when a cement truck crashed into his pickup truck in Beverly Hills.
“It just goes to the essence of what policing is about, taking care of your brother officers,” the band’s president, retired Los Angeles Officer Michael Apodaca, said.
Apodaca said 15 officers from Orange to Los Angeles County are on call, waiting to respond to what they call their duty—to play the bagpipes, if a law enforcement or military family requests them.
The band’s secretary, Cliff Armas, said preparing and playing for so many officers’ funerals is taking its toll.
The band recently played at the funeral of motorcycle officer Chris Cortijo, 51, who was struck last month by a driver who was allegedly under the influence.
“When you see these untimely deaths, when officers are taken before their time, it really hits home. And we understand that it’s very, very special for what we do in terms of paying tribute to them in the best way that we can,” Armas said.
The Los Angeles Police Emerald Society Pipes and Drums played 120 funerals last year.