Members of the Los Angeles Police Department and the community are mourning the death of Marion Hellenkamp, the first female African-American lieutenant in the LAPD.
Hellenkamp died on Saturday, March 14 at the age of 83 in Los Angeles. No cause of death was released. She joined the LAPD on Dec. 11, 1961, at the age of 30. She had numerous assignments during her LAPD career, including as a watch commander for the Wilshire Division and as a detective with the Southwest Division.
Hellenkamp rose to the rank of lieutenant in 1981, becoming the first female African-American to achieve the rank in the LAPD. She retired from the department after 26 years of service on Feb. 14, 1987.
“I am deeply saddened by the loss of Lt. Marion Hellenkamp. We lost a truly remarkable public servant and a champion of equal rights for all, and an example that barriers can be broken,” LAPD chief Charlie Beck said in a statement. “Marion was a true pioneer in LAPD’s history. As a female in a male dominated occupation, she displayed tremendous fortitude in overcoming both gender and racial discrimination to forge an exemplary law enforcement career.”
Funeral services for Hellenkamp are private, according to the LAPD.
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