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End of watch comes for local deputy

Sheriff's Lieutenant Gump retires

Posted: March 23, 2008 1:33 a.m.
Updated: May 24, 2008 5:02 a.m.
 
Local son Larry Gump's career has taken him to Los Angeles, jail, and back to Santa Clarita.

On Thursday, the sheriff's lieutenant retired after 31 years with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

"You see funny things, and tragic things, and sad things," he said. "It's just a very interesting job. And the county is a great employer."

He said that he will miss the job he has enjoyed for so long, but he's got big plans for the future which include lots of traveling, hiking, and learning.

Gump grew up in Newhall and attended Hart High School and College of the Canyons before joining the Sheriff's Department in 1977.

He was first posted at Lynwood station in Los Angeles. His career took him to West Hollywood, the SWAT team, Pitchess Detention Center in Castaic, and the Blue Line transit division before he ended up in the Santa Clarita area in 1994. He has held the rank of lieutenant for the last 19 years.

An avid hiker and outdoorsman, Gump said he chose to work non-traditional hours so that he could pursue his interests during the daylight hours.

"(The) Santa Clarita (station) actually covers 680 square miles, not just the 50 square miles of city area," he said. "Sometimes I'd get out there and explore a trail in the morning before I went to work.

The other guys loved me because my favorite was to work weekend and night shifts, which let them migrate to the day shift and get weekends off."

"He brought to the table experience, plus a level of intelligence that was beneficial," said Sgt. Byron Wainie, who has been at the SCV Sheriff's Station for five years.

Gump was a go-to deputy, Wainie said, as he had extensive knowledge of departmental policy, and crime matters in general.

"I learned a lot from the guy," he said.

Gump added that evenings and weekends are the best hours for law enforcement in terms of excitement, which he has had his share of in his 31 years.

He talked about the time a woman went into a Ralph's supermarket and bought hundreds of dollars worth of groceries with what turned out to be a stolen credit card.

"The clerk remembered that they asked her for a Ralph's card, and apparently she gave her own card," he said. " About two hours later we were able to track her down and arrest her at her house."

Another time a couple making out in a remote spot on Lake Hughes Road reported seeing a woman stop her car nearby, look down into a gorge, then get back into her car and drive off.

"They thought it was a little weird," he said. "Then the woman made a U-turn, came speeding back down the road and went right over the edge."

The woman, who was apparently trying to kill herself, miscalculated and forgot to turn off her airbags. All she suffered was a broken wrist.

Though not all of his job is glamorous, Gump has loved working in law enforcement and has nothing but praise for the department.

Now that he's retired, he hopes to ramp up his travel plans. He's already been to more than 50 countries, but has several more trips lined up for the next year or two.

"I'm going to China for a month in May, then taking a North American road trip for five or six months after that," he said. "Next year I'll do a road trip in Europe. I like to get off the beaten path, hike, and appreciate the aesthetics of nature."

He also hopes to go back to school to study earth sciences, and maybe pick up a foreign language or two.

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