Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Officer Identified

The Costa Mesa police officer who died last night as a result of injuries in a single car accident on Bristol Street when his car crashed into a cement pillar has been identified as Senior Police Officer Mike Delgadillo.  The photo above is from the celebration of his 30 years with the City of Costa Mesa a year ago.

Flags at City Hall are flying at half staff and the members of the CMPD with whom I've spoken are in shock at the abrupt passing of this highly-respected officer.

A former co-worker, Marty Carver, described Delgadillo in a comment thread in the initial Daily Pilot article, HERE,  thus: "I worked with this man for over 30 years and we was one of the best. He was an excellent police officer, father, friend, and son. Once he was on a case, he was like a bull dog who would not cease until it was solved. He was always a kind, compassionate man who would give you the shirt off his back if you needed it. One of his strongest qualities was his ability to make everyone laugh."

Here's the text of the press release issued by the Costa Mesa Police Department minutes ago:

On March 5, 2013, at approximately 10:15 P.M., Detective Michael “Mike” Delgadillo, a senior member of the Costa Mesa Police Department, was involved in a traffic collision on Bristol Street at Newport Boulevard.

Mike was heroically treated at the scene of the collision by responding Costa Mesa Police Officers and Fire Personnel, before being transported to Western Medical Center where he was pronounced deceased early this morning. The collision is still under investigation. No further details are available.

Mike honorably and faithfully served the City of Costa Mesa Police Department for 32-years. Mike started his career in October of 1981. Mike did an exceptional job as a young Patrol Officer, which led to him being selected to his first specialty assignment with the South Coast Plaza Unit, providing law enforcement services to employees and customers. While assigned to the SCP Unit, Mike promoted to Senior Officer in 1984.

In 1987 Mike volunteered to return to Patrol as a Field Training Officer in order to help train and mentor new officers. As an FTO Mike received many accolades and was described as a “Great FTO” by supervision. 

From 1988 through 1994, Mike was a Canine Officers, serving the community well with his partner, Police Service Dog Nero. As a Canine Officer, Mike received many commendations.

In 1996, Mike was selected as an Investigator in the Gang Unit, where he served one year before being selected as a Narcotic Investigator in 1997. Mike worked many major narcotics cases during his seven years of service in the unit. 

In 2004, Mike was selected to his most current assignment in the Department’s Investigative Services Bureau, where Mike has served admirably as a Detective. Most recently, Mike was assigned as a Crimes Against Persons Detective. Mike has handled many major cases and has dutifully served the Costa Mesa community and more specifically the victims of the many cases he has worked over the years. 

Mike is described as a loyal, dedicated, hardworking employee. Mike is probably best known for his charismatic personality and his strong desire to train and mentor others, by imparting his vast knowledge and many years of experience to the younger and less experienced.

Mike will be missed dearly by all.

We here at A Bubbling Cauldron offer our deepest condolences to Mike's family and to his CMPD family, as well.

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Anonymous Nothing's Shocking said...

Man those commenters on the OCR site are nuts... they have already determined he was drunk, and that it's a white police conspiracy coverup.

RIP, Officer...

3/06/2013 02:21:00 PM  
Blogger kwahlf said...

We have the finest police officers anywhere.
I am so sad to hear of Officer Delgadillo's passing.
He was a good man and served our community with
distinction and dedication. He was a mentor to our new officers.
Rest in peace, Officer Delgadillo.
it is a very sad day for our city.

3/06/2013 03:13:00 PM  
Blogger just wondering... said...

A very sad day for Costa Mesa. I've known Mike over the years in passing, but he always remembered me and took the time to say hello.

Truly a leader in this community, behind the scenes, this great officer will be greatly missed.

3/06/2013 06:28:00 PM  
Anonymous Steve Staveley said...

Mike was a good person, and an outstanding police officer and investigator. It is simply awful for those he leaves behind including all those at CMPD and within the community who knew him either professionally or personally. There was so much more he had to contribute.

I am deeply sad at his passing.

3/07/2013 07:38:00 AM  
Anonymous Greg Diamond said...

I don't want to put myself in a category with the OCR bloggers described above, but whenever I hear of a fatal single-car accident involving a high-speed crash into a cement pillar, I think that one has to consider the possibility of suicide.

I recognize Officer Delgadillo's name, although I don't think that I had met him. It occurs to me that, unlike baseless accusations of drunk driving and a cover-up, the possibility of a suicide -- which I don't presume is what happened here, -- would be of greater importance, depending on his circumstances and his possible motivation.

I know that people will find that distasteful; I hope that they don't find it disrespectful. Decent and good people are sometimes driven to suicide -- remember the worker who jumped off of the City Hall building when layoffs came out -- and that prospect really does need to be investigated without malice or prurience.

Officer Delgadillo was granted the power and means to use deadly force against others, right up until his death. If he was clinically depressed and the CMPD didn't know about it, that is of public interest. If he was being affected by bad conditions at work, that is of public interest. If it's most other possible explanations, it's not of public interest and people should respect his privacy. But there should be enough investigation, however distasteful, to determine whether this was a suicide and, if so, it was in the public interest.

I wish that someone else were raising this point so that I didn't feel the need to do so, but while grief is the strongest appropriate response here, there is also the public interest to consider. (And Geoff, if you think that it's imprudent, just spike it and let me know by e-mail.)

3/07/2013 10:31:00 AM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

I sat and stared at your comment a long time before hitting the "Publish" button. I don't want to add to the grief that already exists within the CMPD and Mike's family, but you RESPECTFULLY raised a good point - one that may be on many minds today. While painful to contemplate, I think it's appropriate as part of the public discussion of the loss of a man who has contributed so much to the safety of our community. Others will certainly disagree.

The Newport Beach Police Department is investigating this event and I'm confident that they will perform a thorough job and present the results when all the evidence is assessed.

There could be many reasons for such a tragic event - distraction by a cell call, dodging another driver and others.

I suggest we just let the folks of the NBPD do their jobs and wait for answers.

3/07/2013 10:48:00 AM  
Anonymous Steve Staveley said...

Both Mr. Diamond and Mr. West make good comments and in a very respectful way in my view.

Couple of other points given their comments.

Several studies have proven that driving while distracted, or while tired, creates a condition very near that of being DUI. I am not saying anything about Mikes crash - just that those studies have shown some interesting facts.

Additionally, there has been increasing recognition police officers are victims of PTSD frequently and it can look much like PTSD in our brave combat troops, up to and including suicide. I had an experience with that issue in my career and difficult is too soft a word.

Again, nothing related to Mikes crash - there is sadness enough with that without guessing anyway -

I am sure as Mr. West has said, that Newport will provide real answers when the facts are known to them. Even the facts won't help Mike, his family, friends and the CMPD family - they will all suffer a very long time, but I hope they all can focus on the good Mike did in his life and the contributions he made to so many people.

3/08/2013 09:31:00 AM  

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