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Glendale walks beat for Burbank

Darleene Barrientos

Gray skies Friday reflected the somber mood of Glendale Police

officers as they patrolled unfamiliar streets while Burbank Police

buried one of their own.

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After Burbank Police Officer Matthew Pavelka was killed a week ago

tonight in a brief shootout with suspected gang members, Glendale

Police have helped the neighboring city by executing search warrants

for David A. Garcia, who is wanted in connection with the shooting.

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Glendale Police lent Burbank a lieutenant, two sergeants, 22

officers to patrol the city and several civilian workers to staff

that department’s front desk, records bureau and jail to allow

Burbank personnel to attend the funeral of the first officer killed

on the job in 80 years. The Glendale men and women working in Burbank

were either off-duty and volunteering their time or part of Glendale

Police’s volunteer reserve force.

“In roll call this morning, we explained the need to act with

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professionalism and dignity,” Glendale Police Lt. Pete Michael said.

“It was our way of honoring Officer Pavelka, since we could not

attend the funeral. I advised the officers, ‘Honor him by doing what

he wanted to do.’ ”

On Nov. 15, Burbank Police Officer Gregory Campbell became

suspicious when the occupants of a 1999 Cadillac Escalade could not

produce the sport utility vehicle’s registration papers. Campbell

called for backup and Pavelka responded to the scene in the north lot

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of the Ramada Inn at 2900 N. San Fernando Blvd. As the officers

approached the SUV, suspected gang members Ramon Aranda, 25, and

Garcia, 19, both of Sun Valley, got out of the car and started

shooting at the two officers, police said. Campbell and Pavelka

returned fire, killing Aranda. Garcia fled on foot and was still at

large Friday.

Campbell’s injuries were critical, but doctors expect him to

recover. Pavelka died in surgery late that night.

As more than 3,000 people paid their respects to Pavelka during

his funeral at Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills, retired Burbank Police

Lt. Wade Taylor said he was happy to come in and work so another

officer could go to the funeral.

“I spent 30 years here,” Taylor said. “I look at it as, Matt spent

10 months here. His sacrifice was such that I was honored to come in

here and provide an opportunity for someone to attend his funeral.”

Activity in Burbank was minimal Friday, Glendale Police Sgt.

Javier Ruiz said, and residents have been very supportive of the

outside agencies’ efforts. One woman approached him at lunch to thank

him for his help.

The dedication and solemnity that every outside agency has given

to finding Pavelka’s alleged killer has been touching, Taylor said.

“Everybody has just been marvelous,” he said. “Looking at everyone

working on the task force -- everyone is working like a personal

friend has been killed.”


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