Standing under the hot noon sun, a Sacramento Police Department officer carefully plucked a bright yellow rose from a large bundle in his hands and handed it to the Sacramento County sheriff’s deputy standing alongside him.
Making a deliberate right-face turn, the deputy knelt as she adorned a cement bollard with the rose and gave a solemn salute.
The officers, two of four, worked in silence Thursday afternoon at the Sacramento Police Sheriff Memorial at Woodlake Park on Arden Way near Del Paso Boulevard.
Roughly 500 law enforcement officers and their family and friends watched as the groups made their way around the memorial site, listening as department leaders took turns calling out the names of the 37 local law enforcement officers who died in the line of duty.
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The somber event marked the 15th year of the tribute to the fallen officers. The names of Kevin Tonn, a Galt Police Department officer, and Grant Wilson, a Sacramento district attorney investigator, are included in the memorial.
The procession began with playing of ceremonial bagpipes, with Sacramento Police Department’s Interim Chief Brian Louie and Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones following close behind. A line of patrol officers, deputies and younger cadets snaked onto the nearby streets. Galt police, including Chief Tod Sockman, also took part in the ceremony.
District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert attended the event, sitting by Jones and Louie. Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg sat in the crowd, silently listening to the ceremony among the family and friends of those who were being honored.
Among the speakers included Louie, who spoke of the significance of the cement bollards placed throughout the memorial site. Each bollard carried the name of an officer who died.
“Each of these bollards represents not only a law enforcement officer but the families, the community that basically were affected by tragic events,” he said.
Jones also addressed the crowd, expressing how grateful he was that an additional bollard had not been erected at the memorial site in the past several years.
“It was not a particularly easy year for law enforcement across this state, across this great country,” Jones said. “Every time another officer falls, we say the same prayer, ‘God, please don’t let it happen here, not again.’ ”
The most recent name to be added to the memorial was that of Danny Oliver, a 47-year-old Sacramento County sheriff’s deputy who was fatally shot while investigating a suspicious car at a Motel 6 near the Arden Fair mall on Oct. 24, 2014.
Luis Monroy Bracamontes and his wife, Janelle Monroy, were arrested in connection to the morning shooting in an Auburn home more than five hours later, with police saying Bracamontes was the gunman. Michael Davis Jr., a Placer County sheriff’s deputy, was also killed in the rampage before Bracamontes was detained by police.
Sacramento officers last mourned the death of one of their own back in 1999, when officer William “Bill” Bean Jr. was shot by a fleeing suspect in North Sacramento.
In January 2013, Tonn was fatally shot after making contact with a man suspected of committing a burglary at an apartment complex.
Wednesday’s event was coordinated by the Sacramento Police Sheriff’s Memorial Foundation. Dustin Smith, the group’s president and former Sacramento Police Officers Association leader, was the last to speak and encouraged attendees to spend time at the memorial and to connect with one another.
The ceremony came to a close with a seven-officer troupe that preformed a 21-gun salute. The bagpipe band played “Amazing Graze” to close the ceremony.