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February 14, 2017

Deputy Jenna Underwood-Nunez :

LASD Deputy Jenna Underwood-Nunez Runs in Full Class-A Uniform

to Remember Those Lost and Cherished Ten-year Los Angeles

County Sheriff's Department veteran, Deputy Jenna Underwood-Nunez,

doesn't just talk about honoring fellow first responders lost in the

line-of-duty, she showed it in the best way she knew how: Running a

half-marathon race in the uniform she dons daily to make a physical

declaration of esteem and appreciation for them. It's not easy or

convenient to run 13 miles wearing a near-30 pounds of cumbersome

tactical gear, but Jenna did it affectionately and willingly, out of a

deeply-seated sense of respect for the sacrifices made by the men

and women in law enforcement who gave up absolutely everything

while wearing their uniforms. The inaugural Run To Remember Los

Angeles race race kicked off in 2016, initiated by fellow Angeleno

law enforcement brothers from the Los Angeles Police Department,

to honor other first responders killed in the line of duty.

The half-marathon and 10 K run is a sister race of Run to Remember

Boston, which was founded in 2014 and occurs annually on Memorial

Day weekend.

The Los Angeles-based event, which included several local police and

fire departments, went off without a hitch on Sunday, February 12, 2017.

Everyone runs for a reason and, for her journey, Jenna paid special

tribute to two recently-lost, LASD brothers, Sergeant Steve Owen and

Sergeant Al Lopez, and showed her support for one in medical crisis,

Sergeant Jorge Chavez. Sergeant Owen was a beloved friend,

experienced supervisor and endeared team leader to many. He was

assigned to Lancaster Sheriff's Station and was killed by a suspect

fleeing the scene of a burglary. The suspect, a parolee with an

extensive criminal history, in possession of a stolen gun, unleashed a

dynamic procession of barbaric acts against deputies and civilians on

Wednesday, October 5, 2016. Sergeant Owen, who arrived first at the

scene, was initially shot once by the suspect; the suspect stood over

the good sergeant's body and mercilessly delivered four more rounds

to ensure his demise.

Sergeant Al Lopez dedicated 15 years of his career as a skilled and

tenacious detective assigned to Special Victim's Bureau. He was

tasked with investigating some of the most difficult and abominable

cases of physical and sexual abuse to children, and took pride in his

ability to advocate for the justice of little ones too young to speak for

themselves. He was unshakable and relentless in the defense of those

who were defenseless. Upon promoting, Sergeant Lopez was

assigned to Compton Sheriff's Station. It was on Monday,

October 24, 2016, when Sergeant Lopez suffered a medical emergency

while driving a patrol car, headed out to assist his charge of deputies

at a service call.

Sergeant Chavez was recently diagnosed with Acute Myeloid

Leukemia, a form of blood cancer which usually begins

in the bone marrow, and can quickly spread throughout the body, if left

untreated. Sergeant Chavez is receiving a second course of

chemotherapy; when the treatment is finished, his body will need to

replace marrow destroyed during the process. Prior to conclusion of

the treatment, an urgent search for a matching bone marrow donor is

being conducted on his behalf. When asked about her decision to

run in uniform, Jenna said she did it to raise the curiosity of others at

the event; in turn, it allowed her to share the names of Sergeant Owen,

Sergeant Lopez and Sergeant Chavez. Jenna hoped it would motivate

people to consider bone marrow donation for the good of Sergeant

Chavez and the benefit of many others.

The fact that Jenna ran to bring recognition to three great examples

of uniform leadership and humanity is ironic, especially when we

remember that Jenna is also a recognized hero. It was in 2013,

while five months pregnant, Jenna jumped into a lake, swam 100

yards to rescue a drowning teen and resuscitated him. For her

actions and exceptional courage, she was presented that same year

with the highest honor of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department

bestows, the Medal of Valor. She was also presented the national

Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor by Vice-President Joe Biden

during a 2015 ceremony with Attorney General Eric Holder in

Washington, DC; talk about heroes! Jenna is humble about her

accolades and takes example from many great leaders on our

Department. Assigned to mentor inmates through the Education

Based Incarceration program at Twin Towers Corrections Facility,

a member of the LASD Women's Running Team, charity volunteer,

and a mom, it is easy to see Jenna strives daily in her personal

and professional life to better the courses of those around her

and be an extraordinary example, just like those for whom she paid

homage today. Thank you Jenna for running and remembering our

friends and partners, Sergeant Steve Owen, Sergeant Al Lopez and

Sergeant Jorge Chavez.

Contact Information: Education Based Incarceration - (323) 526-5380,
Run to Remember
Run to Remember

Strength is in their memories
Strength is in their memories

Honor the Fallen
Honor the Fallen

Never Forgotten
Never Forgotten

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