Photo by John Schreiber.
Photo by John Schreiber.

A portion of the Foothill (210) Freeway in Pasadena will be dedicated to the memory of the first sworn Pasadena Police Officer killed in the line of duty.

Pasadena Police Agent Richard Morris died in 1969. The 9 a.m. Friday dedication ceremony will take place at Pasadena Police headquarters, and is a joint effort between the Pasadena Police Department and Assemblyman Chris Holden, D- Pasadena, whose office wrote the resolution authorizing the memorial signs.

After the dedication, the section of the freeway between Rosemead Boulevard and Allen Avenue will be called the Richard Morris Memorial Highway.

“This memorial was long overdue,” Holden said in a statement. “I was proud to lead the effort in the Legislature to add Agent Morris’ name to the list of those who died in service to the community.”

Morris was part of an undercover team investigating an assault on another police officer. A struggle ensued when officers went to the suspect’s home and Morris was shot. He had been with the department for seven years.

“At great personal risk, Agent Morris engaged an armed suspect who clearly had violent intentions,” Pasadena Police Chief Phillip Sanchez said in a statement. “After he was shot, Agent Morris was surrounded by his partners, who risked their lives to save his, but in the end he did not survive. Agent Morris is gone but not forgotten. His warrior spirit lives on in the hearts of our contemporary Pasadena Police Officers, who continue to serve with honor, integrity and courage.”

—Staff and wire reports

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