American Legion names LAPD veteran ‘State Officer of the Year’


The American Legion has named a Los Angeles Police Department senior lead officer as its “State Officer of the Year,” officials said Thursday

Heidi Stoecklein, who is assigned to the LAPD’s Olympic area station and is a 13-year veteran of the force, earned the award for a combination of outstanding police work and community service, according to the American Legion.

She will be formally presented with the honor Friday at the group’s annual convention in Palm Springs.


The American Legion said Stoecklein was selected from scores of officers around the state. They describe the winner as someone who “is well-rounded; has exceeded, above and beyond, the duty requirements of his/her position; exemplifies the virtues of professionalism and dedication; demonstrated a distinct pattern of community service; proven his/her personal dedication to societal security and protection.”

In selecting Stoecklein, the group cited her effort in 2012 to organize a shoe drive for underprivileged families called “Operation Shoes From Santa.”

Stoecklein also received the state’s highest award for “an outstanding act of daring or bravery” for her 2009 rescue of a victim who was shot in the head and lying unconscious near a barricaded suspect armed with a rifle.

In a second incident in 2013, she was among a group of officers who intervened in a workplace shooting and help save employees from the suspect. She received the Police Star for “performing with exceptional judgment and/or utilizing skillful tactics in order to defuse dangerous and stressful situations.”


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