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Harless Park Dedicated
The late Harold B. Harless of Riverbank received a permanent memorial on Thursday when a city park was dedicated in his honor at Litt and South Rosebrook Drive in the JKB Homes subdivision.

The only Riverbank police officer ever killed in the line of duty, Harless died on Oct. 17, 1965 when his patrol car was hit and set on fire by a drunken driver fleeing from the California Highway Patrol.

His son, who is also named Harold Harless but uses the middle name of Bill, said his father was pulling out onto Patterson Road at Palmer Avenue to set up a roadblock when the suspect "came barreling through at nearly 100 mph" eastbound on Patterson Road and struck his father's vehicle.

"It happened almost in front of my grandfather's home, near what was called the Hub Corner. They knew about it at once," he said, adding the drunken driver drew a sentence of five years in prison.

Riverbank's police force at the time totalled five officers.

Police Chief Tim Beck, with Sgt. Erin Kiely and another local sheriff's deputy, attended the dedication ceremony and read tributes to the late Harold Harless, which fellow officers who knew him have recorded on a website for fallen officers.