Saturday, June 7, 2014



Officer  Archie Calvin Buggs was a native San Diegan having attended Gompers Middle School and Morse High School. After his 1966 graduation, Buggs joined the Army and did a tour of duty in Vietnam before receiving a hardship discharge to care for his ailing father. 

Officer Buggs joined the SDPD on October 18, 1974. After completing his academy training, he found himself patrolling the streets he grew up in. In Nov 1978 Jesus Cecena made a decision to take the life of Officer Archie Buggs and drew the life penalty card.  Let's tell Governor Jerry Brown to let him do it his time. Drop him an  email at with the following message:

Dear Governor Brown

I ask that you DENY PAROLE to Jesus Cecena, inmate C08487. This inmate's violent murder of San Diego Patrolman Archie Buggs in 1978 should preclude any consideration for parole." Thanks.

The Story of how I met Archie Buggs and what he meant to me.  

Many semesters ago, I suddenly heard a police siren. I pulled over and a San Diego Police Officer stopped behind me. He drove a white 1975 Ford Torino. The police car was all white with a bubblegum machine on top flashing red and blue. 

I faced straight ahead and peered into my rear view mirror. A black police officer of average height and weight got out. He was dressed in a tan uniform with a shiny breast badge and no patch insignias. He walked towards me.

“Driver’s license and registration please?”

“Sure officer, I do something wrong?” The officer opened his ticket book.

“You made a left turn in violation of the, ‘No left turn sign,’ see it there?” he asked. I turned to look and saw the sign plain as day.

 “I’m sorry officer, just last week I got a speeding ticket.

“Tickets hurt your record. You need to slow down and pay attention to the road signs,” said the officer. Those words sounded a lot like my mom.

“Sign here,” he said. Hell! He’s written me a ticket.

“Drive safely,” he said as he tore me off a copy, then he was gone.

As I just sat there brooding, I looked at the cite. The bold letters at the top read, “TRAFFIC WARNING.”  I breathed a sigh of relief then I looked at where the officer signed his name. It read, “A. Buggs.” I whispered to myself thank-you.

This was the very first time I had ever been stopped by a police officer that had listened and cut me some slack. I screwed up and should have gotten a ticket. But at least he listened, just as I would have had I been in his position. 

An officer that can do the job professionally and still treat people the way he would want to be treated, someone that would listen to people first?  Although I was talking about Officer Buggs, subconsciously I was also talking to the man in the mirror.

I’d always had an interest in Law Enforcement but because of Officer Buggs, it became stronger. I applied and started at the San Diego Police Reserve Academy.  One of the recruits in our academy class was George “Rex” Cason. 

He was in his late thirty’s to early forty’s and had retired from the military. On September 14, 1978 we finished the academy and became San Diego Police Reserve Officers.

Still green I arrived for patrol one evening. I worked with my classmate George that night. It was about midshift, and we had just finished transporting two prisoners to jail. We got the call of an officer involved shooting and were reassigned.

Our duties were to patrol the area of 5800 to 8500 Skyline drive. Communications put out the description and advised that the suspects had just shot a police officer; they may still be in the area.

We looked for them and drove to the 7100 block of Skyline Drive.

“I gotta stop at the scene of this shooting, I wanna know what happened,” I said.

“We both wanna know, said George”

It was November 4, 1978. I stepped out of the driver’s side of the police car. George got out on the other. There was a chill in the night air. A fur like material lined the lapels of my tuffy jacket. I lifted them high to cover my ears. My hands were cold.  

I placed them deep inside my jacket pockets to keep them warm. The first officers at the scene had roped off the area with plastic tape bearing the words, “Police Lines Do Not Cross.” George and I lifted it above our heads and walked into the crime scene.

We stood there and saw Archie Buggs, my inspiration as he lie dead at the curb, shot six times. My hands fell. I wasn’t cold anymore. George’s eyes got misty.

“They told me he was shot to death making a traffic stop,” he said.

Buggs was wearing the same uniform we had on. I was slapped in the face with the realization that we were all brothers and sisters. As it has with so many of us, human frailty had its way. I looked at George, he and I wiped our eyes, it’s not easy watching a grown man cry, I looked away.

I was pissed, I was so damn mad I wanted to scream. Buggs was my motivation. I wanted to get to know him, perhaps work with him, be his friend. I wanted to, “be like Buggs.” George and I patrolled the area looking for his killers.

Another officer located the car that was used in the crime. The mother of the suspects owned the vehicle. Buggs’s two assailants were members of a street gang. Both of them were later taken into custody, found guilty and incarcerated. Archie had a huge funeral and was laid to rest.

What I did next I was compelled to do. I went back to the police academy and on July 30th 1980 I finished the 98th regular police academy.

Now thirty-four years after his death, and after thirty years of public service, my friend and colleague George has joined Archie and passed on to glory. I hope that during both our tours of duty we had occasion to inspire someone as Buggs did. 

It is also my sincere hope that Jesus Cecena (CDC # C-08487) one of his killers never gets to see the light of day again.

May Officer Archie Buggs forever rest in peace.