The annual ceremony at the California Peace Officer’s Memorial honoring officers killed in the line of duty was held in Capitol Park in Sacramento last week. Over 3,000 men and women in uniform traveled to Sacramento to attend, including Governor Jerry Brown, Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom and other state officials.
The ceremony which includes a mounted police contingent accompanied by bagpipes, is held each May. This year, 10 California officers killed in the line of duty in 2016 were honored, including Officer Jonathan M. DeGuzman of the San Diego Police Department and Officers Jose Gilbert “Gil” Vega and Lesley Zerebny of the Palm Springs Police Department.
Since legislation passed in Sacramento can have such a profound effect on local law enforcement, the ceremony and the meetings that follow provide an opportunity for members of local departments to meet with lawmakers and advocate for legislation from the perspective of those who enforce the law on a daily basis.
I was very glad to meet with a large number of San Diego County peace officers, including Escondido Police Chief Craig Carter, representatives from the California Police Chief’s Association, San Diego Sheriff’s Association, the California State Sheriff’s Association, the Peace Officer’s Research Association of California, and the San Diego County Probation Officer’s Association.
We can honor the men and women of law enforcement by giving them our respect and support, along with our heartfelt thanks. But the lawmaking process must include direct input from those who enforce our laws. By heeding the advice of those who are willing to defend us with their lives each day, we may be giving them the greatest honor of all. For without them, our lives of safety and security simply would not be possible.
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Assemblymember Marie Waldron, R-Escondido, represents the 75th Assembly District in the California Legislature, which includes the communities of Bonsall, Escondido, Fallbrook, Hidden Meadows, Palomar Mountain, Pauma Valley, Rainbow, San Marcos, Temecula, Valley Center and Vista.