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Fallen deputy honored at ceremony

Residents come out to show support for friends of Kuredjian, who was killed in line of duty

Posted: September 1, 2011 1:30 a.m.
Updated: September 1, 2011 1:30 a.m.

Annie Kuredjian, left, mother of slain SCV Sheriff’s Deputy Hagop “Jake” Kuredjian receives a bouquet of flowers from Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station Capt. Paul Becker.

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Law enforcement agents and community members gathered in Stevenson Ranch on Wednesday to remember a fallen sheriff’s deputy who died 10 years ago.

On Aug. 31, 2001, Hagop “Jake” Kuredjian was serving a search warrant with federal agents in Stevenson Ranch for James Beck, who was wanted on federal weapons violations and for impersonating a U.S. marshal. Kuredjian killed during a shootout.

“I’m glad current law enforcement members chose to honor Jake,” said Don Rodriguez, who was captain of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station when Kuredjian was killed.

“It feels very good and very sad,” Rodriguez said. “It’s tough for us.”

Twenty-one sheriff’s deputies and two California Highway Patrol officers rode their motorcycles into the Wednesday memorial together to honor Kuredjian, who was a motorcycle deputy.

Joe Abercromby, a Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy, was friends with Kuredjian after meeting him through a motorcycle club.

“It’s important as a department to honor those who have fallen for their commitment and sacrifice,” Abercromby said, “Even if we didn’t personally know them.”

It was encouraging to see that many people came to honor Kuredjian even 10 years after his death, Abercromby said.
“It’s hard to believe it was 10 years ago,” Abercromby said.

Several people gave speeches at the memorial, including city of Santa Clarita Mayor Marsha McLean, Los Angeles County Mayor Michael D. Antonovich and Sheriff’s Capt. Paul Becker.

Kuredjian’s brother and some friends also gave speeches.

“Jake is a role model for this community,” Antonovich said in his speech. “He defended this community against violence.”

Many people at the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station still remember working with Kuredjian, Becker said.

“We try to remember any deputy who died in the line of duty,” Becker said. “Today is about honoring Kuredjian.”

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