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A Brea Police Officer, 50 Years Ago

5 years ago by in ( Old/New , Uncategorized , Welcome to Brea , Who's Who )

  The Brea Police Department has a long history, beginning even before Brea's incorporation. Back then, the city was patrolled and protected by a succession of city marshals, starting with Harry Winchell, a familiar face around town. Winchell was often accompanied by his son, who had been nicknamed "Frog" by his neighborhood chums.

Between 1918 and 1923, the city incorporated and grew, and with it, the Brea PD. Soon, our first Police Chief, Charles McClure, was sworn in.

Over the years, Brea blossomed from a small town to a thriving community. Neighborhoods and schools were built and established, businesses with job opportunities seemed to be on every corner, all attracting potential new Breans from nearby communities.

In 1960, among those potential new Breans was the family of Robert Edward Edmond, who have called Brea home since their patriarch was hired as an officer for the Brea PD. After 2 years as a Buena Park Reserve officer,  Robert Edmond and his family,( sons Rick and Tim, daughter Cheryl, and wife Margaret) decided to  sell their brand new home and move to Brea when he was selected for one available position (from over 600 candidates) with the  police department.

Brea PD policy, at the time, was that all officers had to reside within the city limits and soon, the Edmond's found themselves moving into a home built in the 1940's on Fir Street, in Brea.

The family was very supportive of their father's career and Margaret recognized the tremendous daily stress a police officer was subjected to. Minor family issues and problems, along with sibling conflicts, were solved without placing additional worry on their Dad. The family understood that keeping pressures and stress to a minimum at home would keep Officer Edmond safer on the street.

Early on, Officer Edmond was given the rookie assignment of safeguarding the daily sales from Sam's Place, an immensely popular bar and  grill owned by Sam Landa. Once located near what is now the northwest corner of Ash St and Brea Blvd, the Brea officer would pick up the money from the daily sales from Sam's at 2am every morning, escorting it to the security of the police department. The following morning, Sam would pick up the previous nights receipts before returning to the bar and grill to start the business of a new day.

Throughout his ten-year career with the Brea PD, Officer Edmond coordinated the Reserve Police Officers Program, and training through the OCSO Academy. He also received special recognition for the arrest of a locally notorious drug dealer who Officer Edmond discovered hiding deep in one of the citrus orchards that once lined Lambert Road.

Another close call occurred when Officer Edmond stopped a bright pink cadillac that had run a stop sign on Birch Street, at Laurel. After noting the out of town address on the drivers license, Officer Edmond was alarmed when the driver "offered" to get his car registration while reaching for the glove box. The driver  was asked to put his hands on the steering wheel and when Officer Edmond opened the glove box, he discovered a loaded 45mm handgun.

Officer Edmond raised his family in Brea, where his kids attended Laurel School, Brea Junior High and Brea-Olinda High School. The family also has memories of attending the Jubilee Days Parades every year and they were present for the burial of the time capsule on Brea Blvd in the 1960's that will be unearthed on the anniversary of Brea's first 100 years.  Also among the Edmond family recollections is that during this period, according to the Chamber of Commerce, Brea was known for having the most churches, per square mile, of any other city in Orange County.

The Edmond Family, like so many others, first established roots here in Brea in over 50 years ago. They still reside in the city that Cheryl Edmond says has a "small community feel". When asked what she thinks makes Brea so special, Cheryl says it's the "love the residents have for the city" and the "pride to keep our city beautiful, productive, and thriving".

   
 
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Author :

  • Kathy Cannon

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