The death of a rookie Burbank Police officer has inspired a local
lawmaker to honor Matthew Pavelka in a way that will forever remind
the community of his sacrifice.
Before a small gathering Thursday inside Burbank Police and Fire
headquarters, Assemblyman Dario Frommer, flanked by two portraits of
Pavelka, announced plans to dedicate a three-mile stretch of the
Golden State (5) Freeway in memory of the slain officer.
“That night, the Pavelka family lost a beloved son, Burbank Police
lost a brave officer and the state lost a true hero,” Frommer said.
Frommer (D-Burbank) and Assemblyman Keith Richman (R-La Crescenta)
will introduce an Assembly resolution next month to rename the
southbound and northbound portions of the freeway between West
Burbank Boulevard and Hollywood Way as “Burbank Police Officer
Matthew Pavelka Memorial Freeway.”
Initial Caltrans estimates for the freeway signs bearing his name
are between $1,500 and $2,000, according to Frommer’s office.
Burbank Police Chief Thomas Hoefel was joined by police officials,
City Council members, Pavelka’s parents and other friends and family
“On behalf of the Burbank City Council, and the men and women of
the police department, thank you for the warm gesture and terrific
tribute,” Hoefel told Frommer.
The stretch of freeway selected by police and family members is
adjacent to the Ramada Inn parking lot on North San Fernando
Boulevard, where Pavelka was shot and killed Nov. 15.
Pavelka’s father, Michael, also thanked Frommer for the gesture.
“Matthew joined a long list of local police officers in the
Southern California area who gave their lives while doing their duty
and serving their community,” said Michael Pavelka, a veteran Los
Angeles Police detective.
In 2000, a portion of the Ventura (134) Freeway was named for
Charles Lazzaretto, a Glendale Police officer who was killed in 1997
while searching for an attempted murder suspect in a Chatsworth