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SgtMaj. Robert R. Cottle
Died: March 24, 2010

Pendleton E-9 killed in Afghanistan


The Associated Press
Posted : Friday Mar 26, 2010 9:53:08 EDT

LOS ANGELES — A Los Angeles SWAT team officer, who was on active duty as a Marine, was killed by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan, police officials said Thursday.

Sgt. Maj. Robert J. Cottle, 45, died Wednesday in the blast that killed another Marine and seriously injured two more, the Police Department said.

Cottle and the other Marines were traveling in an armored truck in the Marja region of Afghanistan, LAPD Capt. John Incontro said. No other details of the incident were immediately available.

Cottle, a 20-year veteran of the Police Department, had been deployed on active duty since August 2009. He served with the 4th Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, based at Camp Pendleton.

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa released a statement praising Cottle’s dedication to public service.

“Very few people know what it truly means to every day have the courage to unflinchingly march forward in the face of danger,” the mayor said. “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.”

Los Angeles Police Protective League, the city’s officers’ union, said Cottle was the first Los Angeles police officer to be killed serving in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“As a SWAT officer, R.J. was a tactical genius. His military service gave him unique skills that he generously shared with fellow officers,” league president Paul M. Weber said in a statement.

“His ultimate sacrifice is an immeasurable loss for the LAPD and his friends and family.”

Cottle is survived by a wife and daughter.

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