The month of May is the traditional month in which we remember those valiant women and men who gave their lives in the service of their country and communities. The week beginning with Mother’s Day, May 11-17, has been declared “Peace Officers Memorial Week” throughout the nation. During this week, fallen peace officers across the nation will be recognized for the ultimate sacrifice they made.
On Wednesday, the Santa Maria Police Department and the Santa Maria Police Officers Association will co-host Peace Officers’ Memorial Day services to remember the eight officers who died in California in 2013. The memorial services will begin at approximately 10:25 a.m. with a procession of police vehicles traveling northbound on Broadway from Battles Road to Cook Street. People wishing to view the procession may view it best from the east sidewalk of Broadway.
A ceremony will then take place next to the Santa Maria Police Department, at the corner of Cook and McClelland streets, beginning at approximately 10:30 a.m. The keynote speaker will be Santa Maria police Cmdr. Phil Hansen. Services will include inspirational music, a flag-raising ceremony conducted by a multiagency Color Guard, a bagpiper, the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department Mounted Unit, a 21-gun salute by the Santa Maria police Honor Guard, and the playing of “Taps.”
Following the memorial, a fundraiser barbecue luncheon will be held beginning at 11:30 a.m. at the Abel Maldonado Community Youth Center, 600 S. McClelland St. Proceeds from the luncheon will benefit the Santa Maria Police Officers Association Benevolent Fund. The fund is used to assist members and their families during times of illness, injury and death.
The public is cordially invited to attend the services and the luncheon and join members of local police agencies for a time of remembrance and fellowship. Advance tickets for the luncheon are $8 and are available from Chrissy Alvarez, who can be reached at the Santa Maria Police Department, 805.928.3781 x276.
“As we remember our fallen officers, we appreciate their efforts and dedicated service to the people of the State of California,” Santa Maria Police Chief Ralph Martin said. “The members of your Santa Maria Police Department thank you for your continued support.”
— Santa Maria police Sgt. Jesus Valle is chairman of the Peace Officers’ Memorial Day committee.