Los Angeles County, CA – Alhambra Police Officer Emmanuel “Manny” Araneta died unexpectedly on April 1, according to his department.
Officer Araneta, 50, was off-duty at the time of his sudden death, Alhambra Police Sergeant Steven Carr told The Hub.
The Alhambra Police Department (APD) announced the veteran officer’s death “with saddened hearts" later that same day.
“The men and woman of the Alhambra Police Department want to express our deepest gratitude for your continued support and prayers during this time,” the department said in a Facebook post. “We ask that you please keep Officer Araneta’s family in your prayers.”
A native of the Philippines, Officer Araneta immigrated to the United States with his family in the 1980s, Officer Carr told The Hub.
He went on to serve six years in the U.S. Army, and earned himself a parachutist badge prior to his honorable discharge.
Prior to joining the APD in 2006, he served as a Norwalk-La Mirada Unified School District school security officer, a Compton Unified School District police officer, and as a Los Angeles Park Ranger.
He was an advocate for student mental health services, and also helped to establish a juvenile diversion program in the schools, the Alhambra Unified School District (AUSD) said in a Facebook post.
Officer Araneta was also named School Resource Officer of the Year, and provided suicide prevention training in Washington, D.C.
“He was a guardian angel for students [and] families,” the post read.
“Officer Emmanuel “Manny” Araneta is deeply beloved,” the AUSD said in another post. “He leaves a hole in our hearts but he also leaves a big legacy of making a real difference in the lives of kids & families.”
“Officer Araneta’s amazing ability to build relationships affects generations into the future,” the post read. “Many arms are around his family & our partners, his fellow officers at the Alhambra Police Department.”
Officer Araneta leaves behind his wife of 20 years, Michelle, as well as their children, 17-year-old Zachary, 12-year-old Jeremy, and 8-year-old Isabella, The Hub reported.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Alhambra Police Officer Emmanuel “Manny” Araneta, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.