Annual picnic for African-American law enforcement Retirees returns.

Retirees Reunite

From left: Harold Hills, Retired P2+2, South Traffic Motor, 32 years of City service; Anthony Young, P2+2, South Traffic Division, 7 years; Kevin Smith, OJB, Retired P2+2, South Traffic Division, 28 years; Michael Flemmings, P2 + 2, South Traffic Division, 17 years; Retired Lt. Sam Dacus, LAPD Harbor, 26 years; and Retired Capt. Synthia Lee, DSVD, 33 years, Club Member.

Story by Arlene Herrero, Club Vice President of Business Development •
Photos by Dylan Herrero

More than 90 people gathered for the annual Ebony Reunion Picnic, held each September primarily for African American former LAPD employees. The picnic was held Sept. 16 in Kenneth Hahn County Park in LA’s Burke-Roche picnic area.

The annual event brings together both civilian and sworn employees and their families.

Many participants traveled from out of town to be a part of the event. Some attendees came from as far as Chicago. There was lively conversation and expressions of joy to see old friends and comrades. Everyone had a great time catching up with each other and reminiscing. 

Billie won the raffle prize donated by the Club of Regal movie tickets, pictured with Arlene Herrero, Club Vice President of Business Development.

Arlene Herrero, Club Vice President of Business Development, and assistant Dylan Herrero represented the Employees Club of California and graciously provided raffle giveaways. The Ebony Picnic Committee provided an assortment of gift cards and wine. Rev. Ferroll Robins, former LAPD Chaplain, donated a beautiful “LAPD Ebony Reunion” engraved cutting board, won by former Principal Clerk Gloria Jones.

The Ebony Reunion Picnic committee is a community of Retired Los Angeles Police Dept. sworn and civilian employees brought together by a shared commitment to celebrating the past and the present. The annual picnic serves as a joyful occasion to reconnect with former co-workers, ex-partners and friends, reminiscing about their shared experiences over the years.

 The committee is dedicated to fostering camaraderie and wellbeing among its members, ensuring that everyone stays informed about each other’s welfare. Gatherings provide a platform to share stories, successes and the latest activities of fellow Retirees. The committee believes in cherishing these moments of togetherness during retirement, far removed from the somber occasions of funerals that used to be their primary reunions.

Additionally, the committee aspires to bridge the generational gap by connecting Retired members with the new generation of LAPD Officers and support personnel. Through these interactions, the committee’s aim is to pass on the wisdom and legacy of service while embracing the innovations and progress of the present.

Retired LAPD Commander Harlan Ward is the Ebony Picnic Committee Chairperson. He said, “At the Ebony Reunion Picnic, the mission is to create lasting bonds, celebrate shared history, ensure the well-being of our members, and build a bridge between the past and the future of the LAPD family.” 

The Ebony Reunion Picnic is independently organized and began with the formation of a committee in 1997. Too many sworn and civilian employees were seeing each other only for funerals, they felt, and needed another opportunity to get together and socialize. The committee had one goal in mind: to provide an opportunity and venue for friends, associates, former co-workers and ex-partners to gather and celebrate the past and the present.

In 1997, the committee planned a spectacular two-day event that consisted of a banquet at the Proud Bird Restaurant in Los Angeles. A video titled “LAPD’s Black History” was created and shown at the banquet. The next day, a fun and enjoyable picnic was held at the Los Angeles Police Academy. Both events were well attended and allowed everyone to gather, reminisce and enjoy the presence of each other. 

The Ebony Reunion Picnic Committee is always looking for ways to increase the participation of current and former LAPD civilian employees at the picnic each year. 

Feel free to contact the committee at: