Memorial Ceremonies Honor Fallen Officers

May 17, 2017

Law enforcement officers from across California converged at the State Capitol on Monday, May 8 to honor officers who made “the ultimate sacrifice” in the line of duty. Senator Cathleen Galgiani, whose Fifth Senate District includes portions of San Joaquin and Stanislaus counties, served as the legislative sponsor of this year’s event that included the recognition of 15 officers who lost their lives in the line of duty.

Galgiani’s Senate Concurrent Resolution 45 declared Monday, May 8, 2017 to be California Peace Officers’ Memorial Day and asked all Californians to honor and respect the amazing sacrifice that all peace officers give in defense of their communities. This year, the Legislature and the Governor recognized 10 officers who have lost their lives in the past year:

Deputy Dennis Wallace, Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department, End of Watch: Nov. 13, 2016.

Deputy Scott Ballantyne, Tulare County Sheriff’s Department, End of Watch: Feb. 10, 2016.

Officer Nathan Taylor, California Highway Patrol - Gold Run Area, End of Watch: March 13, 2016.

Officer Michael J. Katherman, San Jose Police Department, End of Watch: June 14, 2016.

Officer Jonathan “JD” De Guzman, San Diego Police Department, End of Watch: July 28, 2016.

Sergeant Steve Owen, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, End of Watch: Oct. 5, 2016.

Officer Jose Gilbert “Gil” Vega, Palm Springs Police Department, End of Watch: Oct. 8, 2016.

Officer Lesley Zerebny, Palm Springs Police Department, End of Watch: Oct. 8, 2016.

Deputy Jack Hopkins, Modoc County Sheriff’s Office, End of Watch: Oct. 19, 2016.

Sergeant Alfonso Lopez, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, End of Watch: Oct. 24, 2016.

In addition, five Officers who were killed in defense of their communities in prior years, but not yet enrolled in prior ceremonies were recognized:

Paul M. Carlisle, Oakland Police Department, End of Watch: Dec. 1, 2015.

Sergeant Thomas J. Fonte, Los Angeles County Department, End of Watch: Oct. 2, 1990.

Deputy Marshal Frederick F. Moore, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, End of Watch: Jan. 16, 1947.

Constable Charles W. Winston, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, End of Watch: April 3, 1926.

Deputy Arthur J. Solomon, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, End of Watch: Aug. 7, 1917.

“It is my solemn honor to be the legislative sponsor for Senate Concurrent Resolution 45,” said Galgiani. “Our law enforcement officers have extraordinarily tough jobs. They regularly work in increasingly dangerous, high risk environments and in difficult high-tension situations, where they have just a few split seconds to make life or death decisions. Life or death decisions for a victim they are trying to protect or a mentally ill offender in a violent state. They have to make life or death decisions that could mean they will never live to see their families again.”

The Peace Officer Memorial, located on the western end of the capitol grounds, is the site of the formal ceremony that enrolled names of officers into the permanent bronze monument.

“This memorial affords us an opportunity to remember those individuals who gave their lives for our safety and express our gratitude to those who continue to dedicate themselves to making California a safer place to live and raise our families,” concluded Galgiani.

For more information on the Peace Officers’ Memorial, visit the California Peace Officers’ Memorial Foundation at www.camemorial.org.