Fugitives General Crime

*Santa Clara County Law Enforcement Remembers Officers Killed in the Line of Duty

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Dozens of Santa Clara County police officers and sheriff’s deputies paid tribute today to the 38 area peace officers killed in the line of duty over the past 150 years. The annual memorial, part of the National Police Week remembrance ceremonies, pays tribute to fallen law enforcement officers from every part of the county. Officers from Morgan Hill to Palo Alto, the California Highway Patrol, even California State University’s security force, turned out for the event in front of the sheriff’s headquarters on West Younger Avenue in San Jose. The record of slain peace officers in the county dates back to sheriff’s Officer Martin Roohan, who died Oct. 23, 1862, up to San Jose Police Officer Jeffrey Fontana, who was shot and killed Oct. 28, 2001. The trial for Fontana’s murder is in its 39th day at the Santa Clara County Hall of Justice just down the street. California Assembly Majority Leader Alberto Torrico spoke at the event, thanking the assembled officers for protecting local communities in the face of potential harm.  “None of you look for fame and fortune, you just go about your job, day in and day out,” he said.  Liz Kniss, president of the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors, paid tribute to law enforcement family members.  “They were the ones at home, not knowing what would happen at the end of the shift,” she said.  Rows of blue-uniformed police and sheriff’s deputies in green stood at attention in the hot sun to observe a 21-gun salute, riderless San Jose police horse, and a performance of “Amazing Grace” by the Los Gatos/Monte Sereno Police Pipes and Drums, among other tributes. Representatives from local agencies read aloud the names of the deceased and the “end of watch,” or date of their deaths, each one marked by the ringing of a bell. Santa Clara County sheriff’s Capt. Carl Neusel said his broad-brimmed hat provided some shade, but standing in the heat was a small sacrifice to make in honoring fallen comrades, and their families.  “It’s been very painful to them,” he said. “We don’t want to ever forget.”

Copyright © 2009 by Bay City News, Inc. — Republication, Rebroadcast or any other Reuse without the express written consent of Bay City News, Inc. is prohibited.

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