The Los Angeles Police Memorial Foundation was conceptualized by LAPD Police Chief Tom Reddin and Founder/President of the Memorial Foundation, John J. McMahon. Chief Reddin envisioned an organization designed to provide emergency financial assistance, not available from other sources, to keep when injured in the line of duty or to spouses and dependent children of officers killed in the line of duty. A primary concern was funding of funeral costs and educational expenses for dependents of these Officers. In 1970, Chief Davis embraced the concept of the Memorial Foundation. Retired Chief Reddin and Chief Davis were certain the Los Angeles community would support such an organization as a way of expressing their appreciation of those who provide police protection and service.

Memorial Foundation was chartered by the State of California in 1972 as a 501c (3) tax-exempt organization managed by a Board of Directors. In 1984, non-sworn employees of the Department were included as being eligible for grants for catastrophic circumstances. This was the origin of the often used term, “LAPD Family.”

Since inception, over $18,000,000 has been granted to Department employees in their time of acute need without any direct tax payer money. No other law enforcement agency has such a far-reaching employee support organization.