April 12, 1958 - September 21, 2003
On September 21, 2003 at approximately 12:30 p.m., Corporal Tyler Matthew Pinchot of the Buena Park Police Department passed away as a result of traumatic injuries suffered during an on-duty traffic collision.
The traffic collision occurred on June 13, 2003 at approximately 3:30 p.m. On that date, Corporal Pinchot was working a traffic enforcement detail on a police motorcycle in the 6800 block of Orangethorpe Avenue, Buena Park.
Corporal Pinchot was traveling eastbound on Orangethorpe as he attempted to catch up to a traffic violator. As he was doing so, a Nissan Maxima sedan, which was traveling faster than Corporal Pinchot’s motorcycle, accidentally struck the motorcycle from behind throwing Corporal Pinchot from the motorcycle. Corporal Pinchot sustained major head injuries as well as substantial other injuries.
Corporal Pinchot was airlifted to UCI Medical Center in Orange, and he remained at that hospital until his death.
The California Highway Patrol investigated the accident. No citations were issued and no arrests were made.
Tyler is survived by his wife, both parents, two brothers, three sisters, three step children, and eleven nieces and nephews.
Tyler Pinchot was born in Garden Grove, California on April 12, 1958. He was raised in Garden Grove and Orange, and he graduated from 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. He graduated with Class #61.
On July 21, 1980, Tyler Pinchot was hired as a full-time police officer for the Buena Park Police Department.
Over the next 23 years, Tyler worked as a Patrol Officer, a Traffic Accident Investigator, and a Motor Officer doing several terms in each unit.
Tyler Pinchot was selected as the Buena Park “Police Officer of Year” for both 1991 and 1992. He is the only person in the history of the Department to win this prestigious award in two consecutive years.
Over his tenure at the Buena Park Police Department, Tyler Pinchot received 123 commendations, Top Cop awards 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. On March 6, 1995, Tyler Pinchot was promoted to the rank of Corporal. He earned his Peace Officers Standards and Training (P.O.S.T.) Basic, Intermediate, and Advanced certificates.
Tyler also received two Life Saving Awards. On May 13, 1992, Tyler responded to a distraught 26-year-old woman who was standing on a ledge over a freeway overpass. Tyler traversed the 8-foot fence, using only his fingers and toes to hold on, and then pinned the woman’s body between himself and the fence. Tyler continued to console and encourage the woman until the freeway could be closed and rescue equipment could be put into place. Tyler was able to maneuver both the victim and himself into the rescue basket from the fire engine. Tyler was recognized for his efforts and willingness to sacrifice his own safety in order to save the woman’s life.
On February 24, 1998, Tyler responded to a medical aid regarding a “man down” on Page Street. The elderly gentleman was unconscious, not breathing, and had no pulse. Corporal Pinchot and Corporal Wheeler performed CPR on the patient until paramedics arrived and continued life-support efforts. The victim was successfully resuscitated and transported to a local hospital. Corporal Pinchot and Corporal Wheeler were recognized for saving the person’s life.
Tyler Pinchot was a member of the Buena Park Police Department’s S.W.A.T. team from 1985 to 2001. Tyler was passionate about his role on the S.W.A.T. 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 S.W.A.T. team, including obtaining surplus equipment from the military. Tyler helped out the S.W.A.T. team in many ways, and held several positions on the team. Tyler was a Tactical Entry team member, the Quartermaster for the entire team, a Chemical Agent Specialist, an Armorer and the official driver of the S.W.A.T. truck.
Tyler also had the skill, talent, ability, and desire to help others become the best they can be. Tyler held numerous other positions in the Department in which he could mentor his peers and help mold the Department and those in the law enforcement family. He was a Field Training Officer (FTO), Reserve Officer Coordinator, Tactical Training Officer at the Fullerton College Reserve Police Academy, Trainer and Agitator for Orange County Police Canine Association, a member of the Police Department’s Trauma Support Team, a Police Explorer Advisor, Firearms Instructor, Rangemaster, Tactical Baton Instructor, Chemical Agents Instructor, Flash Bang Instructor, Less-Lethal Shotgun Instructor and Honor Guard member.
Tyler Pinchot was prolific at the use of firearms. He was an extremely valuable member of the Buena Park Police Departments Pistol Team for over 20 years. Tyler Pinchot competed regularly in 2-man team, 4-man team, and individual shooting competitions, both in combat and PPC style shooting. While competing with the Pistol Team, Tyler Pinchot won numerous medals at the Annual Police Summer Games and at the Bi-Annual World Police and Fire Games. In addition to all of Tyler’s tactical achievements and love of police work, he was also an integral member of the 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 accomplishments in this area included being the Santa Claus for the annual Police Department 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 fund raiser for the Special Olympics, Special Olympics Torch Run participant, Department photographer, Department historian, and especially spending numerous hours with kids and adults alike at the Department’s annual Open House taking pictures with, and showing off, his police motorcycle.
Tyler was mentioned several times in the Orange County Register during his law enforcement career. Here is a list of some of those articles:
• Police Officer Brings Woman Down from Suicidal Perch
• Buena Park Police Seek Homes for Rescued Kittens
• With Comatose Officer Near Death, Friends and Strangers Rally Around Family
• Buena Park Police Corporal died 100 days after a traffic accident