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News Release

Monday, March 23, 2015

Media Relations

Death of First Female LAPD African-American Lieutenant NR15088nv

Los Angeles: The Los Angeles Police Department extends its condolences for the passing of Marion Hellenkamp, the first female African-American Lieutenant who passed away on Saturday, March 14, 2015 in Los Angeles, California.

Hellenkamp joined the LAPD on December 11, 1961, at the age of 30. Hellenkamp worked many assignments, including Wilshire Area as the Watch Commander and Southwest Area detectives. In 1981 Hellenkamp broke the gender and color barrier by becoming the first female African-American Lieutenant. After serving 26 years with the Department, Hellenkamp retired at the rank of Lieutenant on February 14, 1987.

I am deeply saddened by the loss of Lieutenant 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. 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.

-Charlie Beck