In Memory of Corporal Tyler Pinchot

Officer Down: Corporal Tyler Pinchot - [Buena Park, California]

Corporal Tyler Matthew Pinchot of the Buena Park, Calif. Police Department passed away Sunday at 12:30 p.m., as a result of traumatic injuries suffered during an on-duty traffic collision in June.

The traffic collision occurred on June 13 at approximately 3:30 p.m. as Pinchot was working a traffic enforcement detail on his police motorcycle in the 6800 block of Orangethorpe Avenue in Buena Park.

Pinchot was traveling eastbound on Orangethorpe attempting to catch up to a traffic violator. As he was doing so, a Nissan Maxima sedan struck the motorcycle from behind throwing Pinchot from his motorcycle.

Pinchot sustained major head injuries as well as other substantial injuries. He was airlifted to UCI Medical Center in Orange, and he remained in the hospital until his death.

The California Highway Patrol investigated the accident. No citations were issued and no arrests were made.


Tyler Pinchot was born in Garden Grove, Calif. April 12, 1958. He was raised in Garden Grove and Orange, and he graduated Orange High School in 1976.

From 1977 to 1980, Tyler Pinchot was a cadet and Community Service Officer for the Garden Grove Police Department.

In 1980, Tyler Pinchot put himself through the Golden West Police Academy (Class #61).

Pinchot was hired as a full time police officer for the Buena Park Police Department in July 1980.

Over the next 23 years, he worked as a Patrol Officer, a Traffic Accident Investigator, and a Motor Officer doing several terms in each unit.

Pinchot was selected as the Buena Park "Police Officer of Year" for 1991, and also in 1992. He is the only person in the history of the department to win this prestigious award in two consecutive years.

Over his time at the Buena Park, Pinchot received 123 commendations and letters of appreciation based on the quality of his work, his caring and empathetic attitude, his kindness, and his willingness to do whatever he could to help others.

Pinchot was promoted to the rank of Corporal in March 1995.

Pinchot had earned his Peace Officers Standards and Training Basic, Intermediate, and Advance certificates.

Pinchot is survived by his wife, both parents, five siblings (two brothers and three sisters), three step-children, and 11 nieces and nephews.

Life Saving Awards:
Pinchot responded to a distraught 26-year-old woman who was standing on a ledge over a freeway overpass on May 13, 1992 and traversed an eight-foot-high fence, using only his fingers and toes to hold on. He pinned the woman’s body between himself and the fence. He continued to console and encourage the woman until the freeway was closed and rescue equipment was put into place. He was able to maneuver the victim and himself into the rescue basket from the fire engine. Pinchot was recognized for his efforts and willingness to sacrifice his own safety in order to save the woman’s life.

On Feb. 24 1998, Pinchot responded to a medical aid call for a "man down" on the street. An elderly man was unconscious and had no pulse. Pinchot and Corporal Wheeler performed CPR on the patient until paramedics arrived who continued life-support efforts. The man was successfully resuscitated and was transported to a local hospital. Pinchot and Wheeler were recognized for saving the man’s life.

S.W.A.T. Team member:
Pinchot was a member of the Buena Park Police Department’s S.W.A.T. team from 1985 to 2001. He was passionate about his role on the SWAT team and helped develop the team from its infancy to one of the best teams in Orange County.

He took pride in researching and procuring equipment for the entire SWAT team, including obtaining surplus equipment from the military. He helped the SWAT team in many ways, such as: Tactical Entry team member, Quartermaster for the entire team, Chemical Agent Specialist, official driver of the SWAT truck, Armorer.

Teaching and Mentoring: Pinchot also had the skill, talent, ability, and desire to help others to become the best they can be. Some of Tyler Pinchot’s accomplishments in this area include: Field Training Officer, Reserve Officer Coordinator, Tactical Officer at the Fullerton College Reserve Police Academy, Trauma Support Team member, Police Explorer Advisor, Firearms Instructor, Rangemaster, Tactical Baton Instructor, Chemical Agents Instructor, Flash Bang Instructor, Less-Lethal Shotgun Instructor.

Pistol Team member:
Tyler Pinchot was prolific in correct the use of firearms. He was an extremely valuable member of the department's pistol team for more than 20 years. Pinchot regularly competed in two- and four-man team, and individual shooting competitions (both in combat and PPC style shooting). While competing with the pistol team, Pinchot won numerous medals at the annual Police Summer Games and at the Bi-Annual World Police and Fire Games.

Integral member of BPPD Family:
Pinchot loved police work and he loved being an integral part of the Buena Park Police Department family. He was known for his work ethic; doing everything he could to help others and to make the Buena Park Police Department a great place to work.

Some of his work in this area included: Being the Santa Claus for the annual department's kid’s christmas party, coordinator and designer for the annual "Christmas Follies" awards, Baker-to-Vegas Challenge Cup Relay participant and volunteer, "Tip-a-Cop" participant and fund raiser for the Special Olympics, Special Olympics Torch Run participant, trainer and agitator for Orange County Police Canine Association, department photographer, department historian, honor guard member, spending numerous hours with kids and adults at the department’s annual open house taking pictures with -- and showing off -- his police motorcycle, recipient of the department "Top Cop" award.

Articles: A newspaper article was printed featuring Pinchot on May 15, 1992 and how he saved the life of a distraught woman threatening to jump from a freeway overpass: http://www.bppd.com/article1992.htm

An article featured Pinchot and how he and his partner saved the life of five abandoned kittens in May 1996: http://www.bppd.com/article1996.htm

An article on Friday details his accident, coma, and others who were rallying around him: http://www.bppd.com/article2003.htm

Contributions / Donations:

Contributions in support of the Pinchot family may be sent to:
Buena Park Police Association – Tyler Pinchot Memorial Fund
P.O. Box 579
Buena Park, CA 90621

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