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Officer Robert Mata Information and Memorial

Robert Joe Mata was born on October 10, 1973 in Los Angeles, California. He graduated from Etiwanda High School in June of 1991. In November of 1992 he enlisted in the United States Navy, serving on the destroyer U.S.S. Fletcher (DD-992). In his service to our country, Robert was awarded the National Defense Service Medal, the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon (First Award), and the Southwest Asia Service Medal. The latter medal awarded to those naval personnel who patrolled the area near Iraq, in the months after the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait.

Upon his discharge from the Navy, Robert settled in Hawaii, where he met and married his wife, Holly. Homesick for Los Angeles, Robert and Holly moved to Whittier, California. Holly and Robert had two daughters, five year-old Kaleikaumaka ("Kalei", whose names translates from Hawaiian as 'Beloved child, looked on with love and pride') and two year-old Pilani ('Climb to heaven').

Robert entered the Los Angeles Police Academy on January 22, 1996. He served his probationary time in Newton Area, where one daily rating complimented his handling of a 15 year-old potential runaway. Robert convinced the troubled teen to stay home and seek help to work through his troubles with his parent. Passing his probation, he moved on to Southeast Area. Robert's final division of assignment was Harbor Area, where he was assigned the Specialized Enforcement (Anti-gang) Unit.

Holly Mata wanted to share a few comments about Robert's devotion to his work. One is that after an injury in 1999, Robert delayed a needed surgery so that he could be on the streets on New Year's Eve, for the year 2000. When he finally had his surgery in the spring, Robert worked at healing up, not wanting to miss working the streets during the Democratic National Convention deployment.

Holly also went on to describe Robert as an officer to whom wanted gang members would often surrender to, or advise him that they were armed when he approached them in a field contact ultimately resulting in their arrest. Many gang members respected him for his fair dealings with them.

The day before he died, Robert Mata was able to see his wife, Holly, work her first day as a Los Angeles County Sheriff's Deputy, assigned to the Twin Towers Jail. He was there, too, to celebrate his daughter Kalei's fifth birthday.

A funeral mass will be held for Officer Mata at Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Roman Catholic Church, in Hacienda Heights, on Monday, September 25, 2000 at 10:00 am. The graveside ceremony with police honors will take place afterwards at Rose Hills Memorial Park in Whittier.

For more information on Officer Mata and please click on the links below:

Helping the Mata Family

A trust fund has been established for Officer Mata's children, donations may be sent to:

The Robert Mata Blue Ribbon Trust
C/O Harbor Area Police Station
2175 South John S. Gibson Blvd.
San Pedro, CA 90731

Donations to the Blue Ribbon Trust are not tax-deductible.

Tax-deductible donations in the name of Robert Mata, may be made to:

The Los Angeles Police Memorial Foundation
1880 North Academy Road
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Condolences

Condolences for Officer Mata may be forwarded to:

Office of the Chief of Police
150 North Los Angeles Street, Room 619
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Phone: 213 485-3202
Fax: 213 237-0676

OR

Los Angeles Police Memorial Foundation
1880 North Academy Road
Los Angeles, CA 90012
213-847-4239