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Participants share kind words on an old Al Merrick surfboard in memory of Michael Treinen. Surfside News photos
Lifeguard boats spray paddle out participants Sunday off Zuma Beach.
Scott Steepleton, Editor
12:38 pm PDT April 19, 2021

Former colleagues, friends and community leaders gathered at Zuma Beach over the weekend to bid farewell to retired Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Deputy Michael Treinen.

The Canoga Park resident died April 6.

He was 57.

A couple hundred people came to the area near Tower 15 on Sunday morning, with 90 or so taking part in a paddle out.

In a tribute befitting a public servant who loved surfing, two boats from the Los Angeles County Fire Department Lifeguard Division sprayed water on the large circle of surfers, and there was a flyover by a Sheriff’s Department helicopter.

Treinen was with the department for more than 30 years, the majority of that time assigned to the Malibu-Lost Hills Station. Before retiring in 2020, he served as the homeless liaison for the city of Malibu and was training officer for the station's reserve deputies.

Dermot Stoker, chief of the Malibu West Fire Brigade and former decades-long member of the sheriff’s auxiliary and member of Arson Watch, knew Treinin for 30 years.

“Great deputy, great friend, very laid back, mellow guy,” he told Surfside News.

“He was very adept at deescalating any type of situation that could have arisen to a nasty outcome,” Stoker added. “I think the younger deputies can learn a lot from him, by his demeanor. He was just so successful that way.”

Mayor Mikke Pierson had called Treinen “an important member of the Malibu community for many years. In addition to being universally loved and respected by our residents, his personal connection to many homeless individuals in Malibu was a critical factor in so many of them getting the services they needed and eventually finding permanent housing.”

In a statement on behalf of the city, the mayor said, “Our hearts go out to his wife and children, as well as his brothers and sisters in the Sheriff's Department.”

In announcing Treinen’s death on social media, the Sheriff’s Department said, “Rest in peace Mike, your service, humility and quiet strength will never be forgotten.”

Treinen is survived by his wife, Sharon, and three sons. A GoFundMe campaign is collecting money for the family. As of Monday, $39,900 of the $50,000 goal was raised.