RANCHO PALOS VERDES (CNS) - A memorial service will be held today for a Gardena police motorcycle officer who died of injuries he suffered in a crash.
The service for Officer Toshio Hirai, 34, will be held at 9:50 a.m. at Green Hills Mortuary and Memorial Chapel, 27501 S. Western Ave., Gardena police Lt. Steve Prendergast said. No procession is planned as part of the service.
Hirai was on his way to work about 7:50 a.m. Nov. 14 when he collided with a vehicle at Western Avenue and 238th Street in Harbor City. He died the following day at a hospital, leaving behind a wife and 2-year-old son.
At a Nov. 16 vigil in front of Gardena police headquarters, Hirai's widow shared fond memories of her husband.
“Toshio had a really awesome sense of humor, it just was contagious,” Kristen Hirai said. “He had terrible chewing habits that irked me, but what I would not give for him to be chewing here today. I am so thankful. I haven't been able to really reach out or respond to how much support I've been getting from all of you.”
Hirai was a 12-year veteran of the police department and a member of its SWAT team.
Donations to assist the officer's family can be made online at https://999-gardenapoa.firstresponderprocessing.com/. The Gardena Police Officers' Association in partnership with the 999 Police & Sheriff Foundation created the donation page, and Prendergast said it is the only legitimate online donation site. As of Thursday, about $74,000 had been raised, with a target goal of $100,000.
Also, checks to assist the officer's family, made payable to the Gardena Police Officers' Association (GPOA), can be mailed to or dropped off at: Gardena Police Department, 1718 W. 162nd St., Gardena, California, 90247.
All donations are tax-deductible.