[UPDATED with Fund for Family:] Costa Mesa Detective Mike Delgadillo Dies in Car Crash
See Update No. 2 on page 2 about donations being sought for the family of the detective, who leaves behind four children.
See Update No. 1 on the next page identifying the deceased officer and more career details.
ORIGINAL POST, MARCH 6, 9:37 A.M.: Flags are flying at half-staff in front of the Costa Mesa Police Department in honor of a
30 32-year veteran of the force who died in a car crash last night.
The unidentified cop's Honda Accord smashed into a cement column on Bristol Street beneath the 55 freeway, according to his own agency, which got the call at 10:22 p.m. Tuesday.
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No other vehicle seems to have been involved in the single-car crash, and the officer was traveling alone.
He was rushed from the scene to Western Medical Center in Santa Ana, where he was later pronounced dead.
An outside agency, the Newport Beach Police Department, is investigating the incident.
UPDATE NO. 1, MARCH 6, 1:20 P.M.: The Costa Mesa Police Department has identified its fallen officer Detective Michael "Mike" Delgadillo, a senior member of the force.
He was "heroically treated" at the scene of the traffic collision by responding Costa Mesa police and fire personnel, according to a statement from police Lt. Tim Schennum.
"Mike honorably and faithfully served the City of Costa Mesa Police Department for 32-years," the statement continues. "Mike started his career in October of 1981. Mike did an exceptional job as a young Patrol Officer, which led to him being selected to his first specialty assignment with the South Coast Plaza Unit, providing law enforcement services to employees and customers. While assigned to the SCP Unit, Mike promoted to Senior Officer in 1984."
Delgadillo volunteered to return to patrol in 1987 so he could train and mentor new officers, according to Schennum, who added the late detective received many accolades as well as praise from younger officers he'd supervised.
From 1988-94, Delgadillo was a canine officers--his partner was service dog Nero. He joined the Gang Unit as an investigator in 1996 but a year later switched over to Narcotics. He was plucked for his most current assignment as a detective in the Investigative Services Bureau in 2006.
"Mike has handled many major cases and has dutifully served the Costa Mesa community and more specifically the victims of the many cases he has worked over the years," reads Schennum's statement. "Mike is described as a loyal, dedicated, hardworking employee. Mike is probably best known for his charismatic personality and his strong desire to train and mentor others, by imparting his vast knowledge and many years of experience to the younger and less experienced."
UPDATE NO. 2, MARCH 8, 3 P.M.: The late Michael Delgadillo leaves behind four children, ages 14 to 20, his parents and a brother, and a fund has been set up to help them due to interest expressed by individuals who have contacted the police department, according to a memo that went out to the staff and the community today.
Donations can be made to: Costa Mesa Police Officers Association Survivors Fund, on behalf of Mike Delgadillo, and forwarded to the Costa Mesa Police Department, or mailed to CMPOA at P.O. Box 1742, Costa Mesa, CA 92628. The memo from Lt. Paul Dondero of the Investigative Services Bureau that Delgadillo was assigned to adds, "Please note we do not have anyone actively soliciting donations from the public. Donations should only be made through the Costa Mesa Police Officers Association Survivors Fund."
The public has also inquired about memorial services, Dondero noted, but those details are still being worked out with the family.
Here is the memo:
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