Robert J. Cottle, a member of the LAPD's SWAT unit, is the first active Los Angeles police officer to be killed in Iraq or Afghanistan. Cottle, 45, was a Sergeant Major with a United States Marine Corps Reserve battalion from Camp Pendleton. He was in the Marja region on Wednesday when a roadside bomb killed him and another Marine.
"On behalf of the residents of Los Angeles I want to extend our thoughts and prayers to the family and friends of LAPD Officer Robert Cottle," Mayor Villaraigosa said in a statement. "Very few people know what it truly means to everyday have the courage to unflinchingly march forward in the face of danger. Yet Officer Cottle did so with not only a steadfast commitment to the safety of this city, but with a strong sense of pride and duty for his country."
Paul Weber, president of the Los Angeles Police Protective League, said his statement that "R.J., as he was known to his friends, was a remarkable human being who died defending the freedom that he so cherished. He was a phenomenal police officer and a loyal American who believed strongly in the cause for which he volunteered and fought valiantly."
Cottle is survived by his parents, wife and 9-month-old daughter.