Monica Harmon is an Angel Among Us
Monica Harmon receives a certifi cate of recognition for her work in the community from Police Chief William Bratton.
In our city, there is an angel with large wings who has spread her influence far and wide. Her name is Monica Harmon. We moved to LA in October 2002, and we are eternally grateful to her as one of the people who supported us with enthusiasm and commitment. She is a champion of the men and women of the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD). She works tirelessly at every level to acknowledge the police and to involve those who reside in the neighborhood of Hollenbeck—as well as other neighborhoods throughout the city—in a true community partnership with the LAPD.
Harmon’s passion began in high school when she joined the LAPD’s Hollenbeck Explorer program, which gives young people ages 14 to 21 rigorous, specialized training in law-enforcement policies and procedures. She found true gratification in helping other less fortunate children who looked up to the Explorers and has lived out that principle ever since.
In 1998 she completed LAPD’s Domestic Abuse Response Team (DART) volunteer-training program for the Hollenbeck area and later performed the same kind of work in the northeast and Newton areas of the city. She also shared her expertise as a guest speaker at various high schools.
In 2002 she was an organizer of the Coalition for Peace and Justice march in support of the police in Boyle Heights, where homicides had recently risen to astronomical levels. Harmon was selected by Mayor Hahn as one of 30 leaders to participate in citywide roundtable discussions about community policing that same year.
This incredible individual was named Citizen Volunteer of the Year by the Newton area in 2005. And although she has received numerous such awards for community service, she doesn’t rest on her laurels. Harmon continues to generously dedicate her time to try to make things better for others. In 2007 she helped to organize the first Hollenbeck PAL Awards dinner gala to raise money for after-school and recreational programs that service 900 at-risk youths in Boyle Heights. She then organized a Christmas party for 50 children who were cleft-palate patients at White Memorial Hospital. We both attended that event and were moved beyond words by her leadership and compassion.
In the last year Harmon has spearheaded more events for police departments, area communities and local youths than we could possibly recount here. Yet we would be remiss if we did not note our emotional response to accompanying her as she delivered Easter baskets to seriously ill children at White Memorial. It was one of the most meaningful experiences of our time at the LAPD, and we owe the flawless event to her unending dedication. It is clear Harmon understands the need to build bridges between the police and the community. In fact, her son is a Los Angeles police officer. She has helped to create a bond of trust between the two entities that has enriched many lives—especially ours.
LAC celebrates the women of its May/June 2013 issue at Palihouse in West Hollywood.