Longtime Arcadia Humorist ‘Mother of the Force’ Honored by Arcadia Police Foundation

APF pays tribute to Dorothy Denne’s dedication to community

By Terry Miller

On Saturday evening Oct. 19, the Arcadia Community Center saw some extremely remarkable, albeit unsavory, Halloween characters strut their stuff at the Arcadia Police Foundation’s (APF) Halloween Hoopla.

It was all in good fun, of course, and a very special night devoted to honoring Arcadia’s true treasure, the renowned and erudite humorist, Dorothy Denne.

Arcadia Mayor April “Morticia Addams” Verlato and her husband “Gomez” were the talk of the town Saturday as they strutted their personas despite this reporter’s egregious error thinking the popular mayor was actually Elvira. (Please forgive me, your honor.) We also noted another celebrity at the event, Mr. Donald Trump who refused to answer questions from the press and insisted he did nothing wrong at the party.

Arcadia Mayor April “Morticia Addams” Verlato, second from the left. – Photo by Terry Miller / Beacon Media News

Many will remember, for 20 years Dorothy made us all think a little and laugh out loud with her extremely well-read weekly column, “Dorothy’s Place,” in the Arcadia Weekly.

Dorothy’s early education led to a master’s degree and subsequently 30 years in the classroom, teaching everything from elementary school to university.

In 1990, Dorothy retired from teaching due to complications from sciatica nerve damage which resulted from childhood polio at a mere 3 years of age.

Dorothy always had an affinity for the police department in Arcadia where she volunteered for many years and in 2015 the Arcadia police chief asked Dorothy if she’d spearhead the effort to bring back the K-9 to Arcadia.

Dorothy’s love for animals—she’s rescued countless cats over the years—was obvious to anyone who met her and that compassion and devotion extended into the K-9 program and its ever-growing popularity within departments all over the United States and elsewhere.

“We absolutely could not have done in without Dorothy,” TG Metzger, APF board president told the hundreds in attendance Saturday evening. Arcadia Police Chief Gutherie concurred when he was delivering his thoughts on the “Mother of the Force.”

Arcadia Chief of Police Bob Guthrie thanks Dorothy Denne Saturday night for her outstanding work in the community and particularly with the police. – Photo by Terry Miller / Beacon Media News

None could doubt that Dorothy is so much more than a booster/cheerleader for the Police Department; she became very close with the rank and file in addition to the top brass at Arcadia PD. Dorothy’s no nonsense approach to volunteering for the department in many capacities led her to be crowned the “Mother of the Force.”

Dorothy’s work helped the community understand the need for a K-9 unit in Arcadia and was truly the driving force that ultimately garnered two new K-9 officers, Zoli and Kota.

The fundraising didn’t stop there; through the efforts of Dorothy and a handful of other community members, the K-9s were outfitted with body armor, a special vehicle, and the continuous training needed.

The accolades came fast and furious as Dorothy tried to eat her dinner. Friends, colleagues and just those who heard the name “Dorothy Denne” took time to meet and greet—and take the obligatory selfie or two—with the living marvel that is none other than Dorothy Denne.

Dorothy Denne was recognized for her outstanding work in the community and particularly with the police. – Photo by Terry Miller / Beacon Media News

Officer Travis Sargent, K-9 Officer Kota’s handler, was on hand for the festivities as well as Lieutenant Brian Ortiz, who manages the Arcadia PD K-9 program.

Although relatively new, APF has proved its mettle time and time again, promoting public safety and bettering community relations.

Congratulations to Dorothy Denne, from your extended family here at Arcadia Weekly, aka Beacon Media.

October 23, 2019

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