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COVID-19: The City of Hermosa Beach is under LA County Public Health SAFER AT HOME ORDER and a BEACH CLOSURE ORDER for Hermosa Beach Pier, Strand, and Beach from 3/28/20 until at least 4/19/20. Read the orders and other important information from the City of Hermosa Beach at hermosabeach.gov/coronavirus and sign up to receive daily updates.

History & Awards

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The City of Hermosa Beach was incorporated in 1907. The police department had a small and varied start with one employee first noted in city records as E.L. Ferriel, the city Marshal in 1908. Marshal Ferriel was elected to the position with a total of 88 votes. Other dates recorded showed the following:

  • J.K. Mills was elected the town Marshal in 1910 with 66 votes.
  • Chester Palmer was listed as the town Marshal in 1911.
  • Arthur Marshall was paid $75.00 a month as a "Night Watchman" on April 15, 1918.
  • W.W. "Buck" Gipson was the City Marshal and paid $150 a month on April 18, 1922.
  • William A. Stiles was the City Marshal on March 20, 1923.
  • E.L. Messinger was listed as the City Marshal on April 19, 1926.
  • The population in 1926 was 6,500.

Chiefs of Police

  • 1937 D.L. Evans
  • 1942 Chief Evans enlists in Navy and Hollie Murray becomes Acting Chief of Police
  • 1947 F.L. "Jack" Harlow
  • 1957 to 1975 William H. Berlin
  • 1975 to 1981 Claude G. Stonier
  • 1982 to 1987 Frank Beeson
  • 1987 to 1992 Steve Wisniewski (Public Safety Director)
  • 1992 to 2001 Valentine Straser
  • 2001 to 2006 Michael Lavin
  • 2006 to 2012 Greg Savelli
  • 2013 to 2019 Sharon Papa

Medal of Valor Recipients 

  • William Cavenaugh 1979
  • James Chizmar 1982
  • Mark Wright 1986
  • Thomas Eckert 1986
  • John Kearin 1986
  • Timothy Turek 1994
  • Kurt Michel 1994
  • Dana M. Reinhardt 1994

Distinguished Service Award Recipients

  • Dean Garkow 2013
  • Josh Droz 2013 
  • Mick Gaglia 2014 

Sustained Superiority Award

  • Tom Thompson 2005

Life Saving Award Recipients 

  • George Brunn 2018
  • Matthew Rushton 2018
  • Everett Faulk 2018
  • Chief Sharon Papa 2019
  • Milton McKinnon 2019
  • Kristoffer Eszlinger 2019
  • Aurelio Lopez 2019
  • Joshua Nakamoto 2019