San Diego Union-Tribune, The (CA) - January 14, 1997
When Alfred H. Guerin was about to become a sergeant on the San Diego Police Department, the chief called him in and told him he had one qualm about approving the promotion.
"He said he didn't know if he could promote him because he was too nice a guy," said Mr. Guerin's son, Alfred H. Guerin II, who followed his father's footsteps in pursuing law enforcement as a career. "You'll find very few people who disliked him."
Mr. Guerin spent 26 years on the force, retiring in 1981. He was awarded a commanding officer's citation for loyalty and devotion to duty in 1977.
He died of cancer Jan. 10 at San Diego Hospice at age 68.
"He was very congenial," said police spokesman Bill Robinson, who knew Mr. Guerin. "He was easy to like because of his demeanor, always smiling and pleasant." Sheriff Bill Kolender joined the Police Department in 1956, one year after Mr. Guerin, and the two became friends.
"We were police officers together and sergeants together," said Kolender, who went on to become department chief before stepping down and later being elected sheriff.
"He was a very decent guy, a devoted family man," Kolender said. "He was the kind of police officer and supervisor who was respected by people in the department."
Mr. Guerin was born Aug. 2, 1928, in Summerville, Ind. He came to San Diego with his family at age 5 and graduated from St. Augustine High School.
He spent much of his police career in vice and bookmaking, with an unusual background for the job, said his son, Alfred, a San Diego County Sheriff's Department narcotics sergeant.
"My grandfather had been a bookmaker, so my dad knew all the ins and outs," he said.
Mr. Guerin's other survivors include a son, Anthony, and daughter, Annette Catherine Adams, both of San Diego; a brother, Prime, of Ramona, and a sister, Mercedes Sawyer, of San Diego; 11 grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.