John March has endured every parent’s worst nightmare. And now, in his new role with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Youth Foundation, he’s aiming to help the county’s at-risk youths and their families avoid nightmares and pursue dreams instead.
“John brings such a unique perspective to our Foundation,” said Sheriff Leroy D. Baca in announcing the appointment of March as the Foundation’s new Director of Operations. “Not only has he dealt with the unequaled trauma of losing a child, but also he’s become a strong advocate for youths, justice and the positive role of law enforcement.
Baca added that the nonprofit Foundation will benefit greatly from March’s professional background and experience — ranging from a career as a NASA engineer to being the president of Creative Presentations, a high-tech startup serving the theme park industry that became the world’s largest audio-animatronics company.
“He’s truly a unique individual,” Baca said, “and he has a high level of understanding and passion for what our Foundation is all about: Helping the county’s at-risk youths develop the tools and values they’ll need to become productive adults.”
Deputy David March
March’s name is familiar to many Southern Californians as a result of tragedy: His son, Deputy David March, was gunned down in the line of duty on April 29, 2002. The suspect pulled a handgun on Deputy March during a traffic stop in Irwindale and killed him in cold blood, then fled to Mexico.
John March made it his mission to bring his son’s killer to justice.
“All work endeavors virtually stopped and I focused my skills on ‘completing the arrest that my son started,’” March says now. “During that time I spent much of my time lobbying government, speaking on radio and television and in general making a nuisance of myself. With the help of Sheriff Lee Baca, (District Attorney) Steve Cooley, talk radio, cable news, and a bunch of great people, we succeeded in changing laws, modifying extradition treaties, and getting my son’s killer back from Mexico.”
David March’s killer is now serving life without parole in prison — and when he was brought back from Mexico he was handcuffed with David’s handcuffs.
Now, March says, he wants to honor his son’s memory by helping the county’s youths avoid bad decisions and build a great future — something his son cared a great deal about, and which helped steer David March toward a career in law enforcement.
The Sheriff’s Youth Foundation is a perfect fit to achieve that goal, he says.
“It will be my honor to help keep young kids from making bad decisions,” March says. “This is a great opportunity for me to apply the skills learned in the last 10 years for something positive. My son, during his life tried to help kids. I was able, with help, to complete Dave’s arrest. Now it is a thrill to work on his passion, helping kids.”
March added that his son’s own words, which have now been adopted as the Sheriff’s Department’s creed, express his feelings best: “‘My goals in life are simple. I will always be painfully honest, work as hard as I can, learn as much as I can and hopefully make a difference in people’s lives.’”
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Youth Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to serving youths throughout Los Angeles County through seven mission-specific programs. Services include after-school mentoring and activities; drug, gang, violence prevention and tolerance education; counseling for at-risk youth; bicycle safety training; and, assistance for medically vulnerable children. More information is available by calling (877) KIDS 411 or email to: email@example.com.