Many will remember him for his great sense of humor, his energy, his positive attitude and his bounty of ideas. One of those ideas was the implementation of the first jet-ski patrol on Lake San Antonio.
At the age of 36, Deputy Olson was responding as a backup unit to a Code-3 domestic disturbance call when his patrol car skidded off Arroyo Seco Road and over a 400 ft. cliff, trapping him inside the burning vehicle. He was a veteran of 4 ½ years. He was survived by his parents.
I worked with Tony out of the King City office and was off the night of his accident. I will never forget Tony’s smile and love for the job. I remember watching one of his best friends Dave standing by his casket for several hours not moving. I know Dave loved him a lot and still misses him today. He has been missed all of these years. We miss him and our prayers go out to his mother and father.
I worked with Tony in the city of Orinda, Ca back in the early 90’s. I was a Deputy Sheriff at the time and Tony was a volunteer reserve Officer. Tony served with great enthusiasm and devotion. I still remember when he was sworn in by Monterey County and he received his ID card and badge. He returned to the PD and proudly showed us. Tony was a great guy beloved by all who worked with him. Sadly we always lose the good ones.
Tony Olson was one of my many trainees at the Corrections Bureau. He was a real nice guy and a fast learner. He breezed through the Corrections training program. I remember how happy I was to see his name on the list to go from Corrections to Patrol. I remember seeing on the news that night where a Monterey Sheriff’s deputy had died in an automobile accident. I wanted to know who it was, and then again, I didn’t want to know who it was. Names of patrol deputies started running through my mind as I sat and cried. I still didn’t call to find out who it was. I waited until I went to work. As I signed in for my duty assignment, I saw Tony Olson’s picture and the write up about him and I lost it. I broke down from sadness. Tony, we’ll never forget you. God gave you to us for a short time but now he has left you with us forever.
I was Tony’s F.T.O. and Tony was the only trainee that I ever accelerated off of training. It was virtually unheard of, but the department concurred with me. Tony was smart, witty and humorous. We quickly became friends, partly because he never let my “intense training style” intimidate him. I enjoyed his company. Had his life not been cut short, I am convinced he would have been Sheriff some day. He was dynamic and innovative, starting up Monterey County’s first Jet Ski lake patrol (Why didn’t I think of that?). I can’t believe it’s been 10 years. I sometimes cry as if it were yesterday. My wife, Doreen (a CHP officer) simply adored him. Less than two weeks before his death, we bought him Chinese food and went out for a beer. I still have that receipt. He never lived to see our wedding, but I have a feeling he was there in spirit. In F.T.O. school, the instructors spoke of some of the longest friendships forged with certain trainees. Tony was a prime example. Tony lovingly mocked me and never let me get too puffed up. He was a class act all the way. I’ll never forget his face or his voice.