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Daryl Gates passes the baton

Daryl Gates passes the baton

 May 29, 1992: Police Chief Daryl F. Gates leads the LAPD concert band at Police Academy graduation ceremony.

Gates was retiring. Staff writer Bob Pool reported on the graduation ceremony in the next morning’s Los Angeles Times.

Is Daryl F. Gates ready to pass the police chief’s baton to Willie L. Williams?

On Friday, Gates was not even in a hurry to pass the bandleader’s baton to Don Holcomb, conductor of the Police Concert Band.

During an emotion-filled morning, Gates presided over his final Police Academy graduation by handing out diplomas to 59 new officers. The outdoor ceremony attracted hundreds, and many seemed to have come more to say goodbye to their chief than to welcome the rookies.

Gates was given a hero’s welcome when a squad of motorcycle officers escorted his car through the academy’s arched entryway and led it to a reserved parking spot marked by four huge stars. When he walked onto the parade grounds to start the ceremony, he passed through a saluting honor guard as the band serenaded him with a composition written for him.

The crowd cheered when Gates stepped forward and conducted the musicians. They cheered again when the name of the tune was announced: “Swinging Gates.” …

Daryl Gates passed away on April 16, 2010. His Los Angeles Times obituary Controversial LAPD chief is online.

This photo by staff photographer Rick Meyer was published in the May 30, 1992 Los Angeles Times.

scott.harrison@latimes.com

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