Foundation Prepares to Honor Retired County DA at Gala

Steve Cooley

The Sheriff’s Youth Foundation is gearing up for the 28th annual “Salute to Youth” gala, which will also include a salute to this year’s honoree, Steve Cooley, Los Angeles County’s longest-serving District Attorney, Tuesday, Sept. 24, at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills.

Cooley was a three-term L.A. county District Attorney, holding the position from 2000 to 2012. When reelected in 2008, he was the first county D.A. to win a third term since Buron Fitts in 1936. Cooley finished his third and final term with a legacy of vocally opposing medical marijuana shops, expanding the way law enforcement agencies use DNA and taking aim at public corruption. With a nearly 30-year career as a prosecutor, he also served as a Los Angeles Police Department reserve officer for more than seven years.

Cooley’s work also had an impact on one of the Sheriff’s Youth Foundation’s own. He spent five years leading an international manhunt after Sheriff’s Deputy David March – son of John March, chief development officer for the Sheriff’s Youth Foundation – was shot and killed in the line of duty in 2002. The killer fled to Mexico following Deputy March’s murder, and was ultimately arrested and extradited in 2006 to California, where he is serving a life sentence.

“I can personally attest to Steve Cooley’s commitment to justice and upholding the public trust,” John March said. “He has a legacy of dedication to doing the right thing and improving our communities, which is right in line with the mission of the Sheriff’s Youth Foundation.”

The gala is not only focused on honoring Cooley. It is, as the name implies, a night to salute the youth who are involved in the Sheriff’s Youth Foundation’s various programs. The evening will include presentations from youth who have excelled in their respective programs.

“The gala provides an excellent opportunity for us to put the spotlight on the kids in our programs,” March said. “They are the reason we do what we do, and are shining examples of the success of the Sheriff’s Youth Foundation.”

For more information on the “Salute to Youth” gala, call the Gala Coordination Office at (310) 996-1188 or email SYFgala@lasd.org.

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