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May 2011

Police Officer III Dana Binion

Los Angeles (CA) Police Department

Washington, DC— The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund has announced the selection of Police Officer III Dana Binion of the Los Angeles (CA) Police Department as its Officer of the Month for May 2011.

When it is a challenge to isolate just one heroic action or remarkable contribution by an officer, it is evident that the officer’s role in serving his or her community is noteworthy and deserving of special recognition. Officer Dana Binion is a 32-year law enforcement veteran. His tenacity and cutting-edge approach to law enforcement has well served the residents of West Los Angeles.

While officers on patrol in marked cruisers provide a sense of security and perhaps a deterrent to crimes, they are not as effective in stopping a car theft in progress. In 1992, Officer Binion and Officer Paul Kanary became the founding members of the West Los Angeles (WLA) Surveillance Detail, a program developed to identify suspects that commit auto-related crimes and burglaries, connect those suspects to the crimes and direct responding units to affect the arrest.

At first, only Officers Binion and Kanary were assigned to this Detail and were deployed to some of the highest crime areas in the City of Angels. In unmarked vehicles, they canvassed neighborhoods and tracked down known criminals and suspects connected to auto theft and burglaries; their weapon of choice was the car’s radio.

While on surveillance, the officers kept in constant contact with fellow officers patrolling nearby via radio. When they sensed criminal activity in progress, Officers Binion and Kanary would track the vehicle, remain undetected, and alert officers in marked cars, who could then pursue and arrest the suspects. This unique and highly effective program has led to more than 700 felony arrests and 100 misdemeanor arrests, with a 99 percent conviction rate.

Although Officer Kanary retired soon after the program’s launch, Officer Binion continued to develop and grow the Detail, which has been replicated by several other divisions throughout Los Angeles. Under his tutelage, the Surveillance Detail has widened its net to include more than the initial auto-related crime inspection. The Detail began investigating areas where other violent crimes, such as business burglaries or robberies, were taking place with some regularity, in an attempt to combat other sources of criminal activity.

After more than three decades of service, Officer Binion retired. His legacy to the LAPD and the citizens they serve will long be remembered by the Surveillance Detail he helped to create and the countless number of young officers whose careers he enriched. His expertise and ability to train officers in the area of surveillance techniques has made the Surveillance Detail the single most effective crime strategy in West Los Angeles.

An enthusiastic, high-energy individual with outstanding leadership abilities, Officer Binion spent his career embracing old fashioned values and a deep commitment to his department, his fellow officers, and the community.

Located in the nation’s capital, the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund is a nonprofit organization dedicated to honoring the service and sacrifice of America’s law enforcement officers. The Memorial Fund’s Officer of the Month Program began in September 1996 and recognizes federal, state and local officers who distinguish themselves through exemplary law enforcement service and devotion to duty.

Officer Binion, along with the other Officers of the Month for 2011, will be honored at a special awards luncheon in Washington, DC, in May 2012 during National Police Week. In addition, their stories of heroism and service will be featured in the Memorial Fund’s 2013 calendar.