BADGE 278 & 573, ID 1596
SDPD 10/18/1974 - 10/12/2007
07/13/1948 - 02/02/2021
Sign InView Entries
Albert Michael Massey “The Legend” 72 quietly passed away on February 2, 2021 after a long battle with Vascular Dementia.

He was born to Billy Joe Massey and Doris (Choquette) Massey Cooper. He graduated from Hoover High School in 1966.

Two months after graduating from high school, Albert joined the Army. Albert served in Vietnam with the 199th Light Infantry Brigade. On November 14, 1968, a fellow soldier tripped an enemy’s hand grenade. Albert pushed the soldier aside and took the blast, saving the soldier’s life. Albert suffered multiple injuries from the blast, including trauma to his brain, and shrapnel throughout various parts of his body.

Upon discharge from the Army, Albert joined the police department in Fife, Washington. After 5 years with serving in Fife, Albert then transferred to the San Diego Police Department.

Albert was highly valued and respected by his fellow soldiers and officers. When Albert was assigned to Patrol in the Downtown area of Central Division, he earned the name “Ayatollah,” by the crooks in his area. He was also known as “The Legend” by his fellow officers. Albert’s patrol car was a prisoner van, which he loaded up on a nightly basis.

Albert also worked undercover with the Special Investigations Unit.

He was later promoted to the rank of Sergeant. Albert always referred himself as a Field Sergeant. He loved working patrol during the graveyard shift. Albert mainly worked in the San Diego Riverbed toward the end of his police career.

During Albert’s time with the Police Department, he received a Medal for Valor and numerous Commanding Officer Citations. After 33 years with the San Diego Police Department, Albert retired.

He became a Cub Scout leader. Albert helped coach the football team at Our Lady of Perpetual Help School.

He enjoyed road trips, including stops to Disneyland. Albert also enjoyed a small dog or cat on his lap while watching TV in his recliner.

Albert is preceded in death by his first wife of 29 years, Donna (Leigh); his parents, Clyde and Doris Cooper, Billy Joe Massey; granddaughter, Marisa Diaz; stepsisters Linda Kay and Cathy Cooper; stepbrother, Michael Cooper. Albert is survived by his wife of 21 years, Dolores (Dee Cirino); children, Michael, Dina, (with Donna), Jenny, and Vinny (with Dee); sisters, Barbara (Jerry) Nielsen, Janet (Guy) Hawthorne, Linda (Jean) Rodriguez, Marilyn Sandels, and brother Steven; grandson, Brandon; granddaughters, Savannah Pratt and Kaitlin Diaz; great-grandson, Ryder Sosa; great-granddaughter, Kamaya Butts; stepbrother, Jeff Cooper, and stepsister, Darlene Cooper; many nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Upon Albert’s combat injuries catching up with him, he landed in Arroyo Vista Nursing Center. While there, Albert earned the title, “Boss Man,” “Sergeant,” and “Colonel.” He was well loved by many family members, friends, co-workers, and staff at Arroyo Vista.

Albert was a warrior. He is greatly missed. The family would like to thank the staff at the VA Medical Center La Jolla, Arroyo Vista Nursing Center, and Comfort and Peace Hospice for the loving care they gave to Albert.

Additional thanks to Mark Shaffer and Chopper the Biker Dog for the visits, which truly brightened Albert’s days.
Basic information is provided as a courtesy and is obtained from a variety of sources including public data, museum files and or other mediums.  While the San Diego Police Historical Association strives for accuracy, there can be issues beyond our control which renders us unable to attest to the veracity of what is presented. More specific information may be available if research is conducted.  Research is done at a cost of $50 per hour with no assurances of the outcome.  For additional info please contact us.