The Santa Barbara Police Department held a remembrance ceremony on its front steps Tuesday afternoon as part of National Police Week and to honor law enforcement officers who have lost their lives or become disabled in the line of duty.
Dozens of law enforcement officers, first responders and community members attended the ceremony to honor and remember the fallen officers.
Since 1962, when President John F. Kennedy proclaimed May 15 as National Peace Officers Memorial Day, the calendar week that May 15 falls on each year is celebrated as National Police Week to recognize the service given by law enforcement officers.
The names of 556 law enforcement officers were added this year to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, D.C., which honors law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty; 224 of those names are of officers who died in 2022 and 332 from prior years. The memorial monument has 23,785 names inscribed.
Tuesday’s ceremony in Santa Barbara included the reading of seven names, followed by the ringing of a bell to honor officers from the Santa Barbara Police Department who have lost their lives in the line of duty.
Police Chief Kelly Gordon said the remembrance ceremony and National Police Week is about “honoring [fallen officers] and never forgetting their family.”
“Every day that we put on our badge and do the work, we honor them,” Gordon said.
Several city officials were in attendance, including Mayor Randy Rowse, City Administrator Rebecca Bjork, City Council members Alejandra Gutierrez, Eric Friedman, Oscar Gutierrez, Mike Jordan and Kristen Sneddon, and Santa Barbara City Fire Chief Chris Mailes.
To mark National Police Week, the Santa Maria Police Department will hold a memorial starting at 10 a.m. Wednesday in the station parking lot, 1111 W. Betteravia Road, followed by a barbecue lunch.
The Lompoc Police Department will host a Food Truck Festival from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday in front of the station at 107 Civic Center Plaza. The event in honor of National Police Week will feature food for sale, police demonstrations, music, and activities for kids.