Sirens Screeched, lights were flashing as the procession of vehicles approached the Christ Second Baptist Church of Long Beach escorting the Hearst carrying the casket, to the church, which was packed with friends, family and co-workers waiting to celebrate the Life of Detention Service Officer Michael Edward Wall. The Board of Supervisors Chair, Hilda L. Solis had ordered that flags at all County buildings be lowered to half-staff until the end of the day of his scheduled funeral. Probation Departments from throughout California came to Los Angeles; The Honor Guard from Sacramento and San Bernardino, Bagpipers from The Orange County Sheriffs Association, The Los Angeles County Fire Department and Los Angeles County Probation Department, Officers from, Riverside, Kern County and Ventura County participated to be certain that their Brother Officer, Michael Edward Wall would leave this life with dignity.
The Wall family members thanked The Probation Officers Union, AFSCME 685 for working so diligently to make this ceremony so special, particularly they gave special appreciation to Deputy Probation Officer Dwight Thompson and Deputy Probation Officer Mike Davis to whom they expressed that their gratitude was beyond measure, and stated that Michael’s friends and colleagues at Central Juvenile Hall, were all a part of their family. So many people told stories people he grew up with, people he went to college with, coaches, ministers and The Probation Officers Union AFSCME Local 685 President, Hans Liang stated, “We all know that Michael died on the Job. But the important thing to remember is that he died “doing his job”, doing his job to protect the youth under his supervision, doing his job to keep them from harm, doing the job that so many of us dedicate ourselves to do, every single day. As we say goodbye to Michael today, let us keep his memory close and let his dedication be a reminder of what it means to be the best of us.”
Biography–Michael was 49 years old, when he suddenly went into cardiac arrest, as he was running behind one of his young charges at The Central Juvenile Hall facility, where he worked. Michael is survived by his daughter Aubrey Wall, (15) and his three sisters Jewel Smyth, Dionne Wall and Angelique Smyth and his brother Sylvester Wall Jr. He had a reputation for being a very mild mannered, always positive guy. While growing up he was always cared so much about the kids he grew up around, if a kid started to “bully” another kid he was always the one to stand up for the kid being attacked, letting the others know, “we are not having this happening here today”. He was also an adamant sports fan, so naturally he would attend Long Beach Polytechnic, the school Sports Illustrated magazine called the “Sports School of the Century,” he enjoyed basketball, but he loved football and played for the Polytechnic football team. Michael graduated from Long Beach Polytechnic High School in 1989. He then attended New Mexico State University on a football scholarship.
He initially had some aspirations to play football professionally, certainly since his high school had sent more players to the NFL than any other high school in the country, he was a linebacker on the New Mexico team, so he strongly considered it. However, by the time he graduated from the University, he decided to join The Mesilla Hospital in Las Cruces, where he worked with patients working on their mental health. Next, he joined a non-profit organization called Families and Youth Inc., a residential treatment center where he worked with teens and their families. Michael’s friends talked about how his quiet, nonjudgmental approach to life made him so pleasant to be with. He loved being with his family, he had gotten married, and he had a daughter. Then, Michael’s mother became very ill, he was concerned that he was so far away, so he applied to the Los Angeles Probation Department, he had the experience and the education that Los Angeles County Probation Department was looking for and they quickly snap him up. Michael has been with the Los Angeles County Probation Department for fourteen years. He was a dedicated Guardian of Justice, who will be greatly missed by family and friends that loved him dearly.
This biography of the life of Detention Service Officer Michael Wall was read into the Board Meeting record, by Supervisor Janice Hahn on May 18, 2021. He was a 14 year veteran of The Los Angeles County Probation Department, and the Board meeting was adjourned in recognition of his passing.