A crowd of police officers and firefighters gathered around the flagpole by the Police and Fire stations on campus Friday to honor the fallen at the first annual memorial ceremony for the UC Davis Police Department.
The Memorial Proclamation ceremony was held mid-morning to officially declare May 9 as the Law Enforcement Officers’ Memorial Day by Chancellor Larry Vanderhoef.
UC Davis Police Captain Joyce Souza welcomed the crowd and thanked everyone for joining the department in honoring law enforcement officers who died in the line of duty. The UC Davis Fire Department then performed the Presentation of Colors with the UCD ROTC Guard. With the crowd in silence, the flag was flown at half–mast to honor the departed.
Woodland Police chaplain Jeff Satterburg then led the crowd in prayer and spoke about the dedication of those officers who died in the line of duty.
“Let’s not forget the ultimate sacrifice that was made by our brothers and sisters,” Satterburg said.
Vice Chancellor Stan Nosek stood in for Vanderhoef, who was unable to be present at the ceremony, in reading the proclamation at the ceremony.
“[I] encourage all citizens to remember those law enforcement officers everywhere who gave their lives for the safety of their communities and those current officers who continue to dedicate themselves to making UC Davis a safer place,” Nosek said.
Lieutenant Nader Oweis followed the proclamation by reading the Roll Call or End of Watch list of officers who died in 2007 in California. Nine names were read, including Detective Vu Nguyen of Sacramento County who passed on Dec. 19, 2007. No UC Davis officers were killed in the line of duty.
After the roll call, the UCD Band-uh! bugler honored those fallen officers followed by a closing prayer by Satterburg.
Captain Souza said closing ceremony comments and invited the crowd to refreshments in the lobby of the Police Department. As people mingled, some members of the Fire Department had to speed off early because of a call they received.
“I thought it was a wonderful turnout today,” Lieutenant Oweis said.
“It was an honor to do this on behalf of law enforcement everywhere. We would like to thank the chancellor for making this possible,” he added.
May 11 begins the National Law Enforcement week during which events and activities will be occurring throughout the country including at the state capitol in Sacramento.
Lieutenant Oweis said that the memorial ceremony will probably be held every May 9 from now on or preferably on a Friday before National Law Enforcement Week.
ANGELA RUGGIERO can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.XXX