Beer today, gone tomorrow: LAPD cop retires

PANORAMA CITY Officer James Thornton is calling it quits after more than three decades on the job.

For 36 years, James Thornton has patrolled the streets of Los Angeles, most of those years as a motor officer. Thursday was his last day in uniform.

As with most retirement sendoffs, the retiring officer's final roll call consists of applause. A slide show, more applause. And an emotional farewell speech.

"I'm gonna miss ya, thank you very much," said Officer James Thornton. And even more applause.

But what kind of retirement ceremony would it be without a cold one for the man of the hour. He didn't just get a beer, he didn't even get a case of beer: He got the whole truck!

At least temporarily.

You see, Thornton, as one old photo attests to, is a huge Coors Light fan.

So instead of a standard limo drive to headquarters to sign his retirement papers, Thornton's cohorts in crime -- or anti-crime, technically -- decided a more appropriate ride was in order.

But first, a very public uniform change. With some help from his wife.

Then, sporting his Coors delivery gear, Thornton rode off into the sunset.

"I can't believe it's over. It's been a good run, a long run, but it's coming to an end and its time to start a new life," said Officer Thornton.

"We're gonna go home to La Quinta and have a wonderful life," said Lyn Thornton, James's wife.

A wonderful life with plenty of plans brewing. It's a good thing Thornton wasn't wearing a "silver bullet"-proof vest.


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