The dispatcher’s voice had crackled through police radios across Los Angeles: “Shots fired … AK-47 … there’s an officer down.”

She’d been a voice of calm 20 years ago today during 44 minutes of abject terror. Once again, she was heard at 9:17 a.m. during a tribute to those who had risked their lives during the North Hollywood shootout — one of the longest gun battles in police history.

“And with that series of broadcasts to that chaos and initial terror began an incident that ended with a true demonstration of the character of this organization that we call the Los Angeles Police Department — a demonstration of valor,” said Capt. Donald Graham, commander of the North Hollywood Division.

He was among an estimated 200 city officials, cops and residents to gather during a one-hour ceremony yesterday at North Hollywood Police Station to recognize the outgunned police who overcame men with machine guns, the Daily News reports.

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North Hollywood Shootout: Baptism of Fire  

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