Yolo County takes part in National Peace Officer Memorial Day during National Police Week
Last Friday at 12 p.m. the Yolo County law enforcement agencies and the Yolo County Retired Peace Officer Association hosted the Yolo County Fallen Officers Tribute at the Yolo County Peace Officer Memorial at the county courthouse in Woodland.
Yolo County came to establish a National Police Week over the past 30 years, following what was once a single memorial service in which survivors and law enforcement supporters attended. Now, there is a week officially dedicated to officers who were killed on duty. The tribute last Friday was the second event following the “Walk to Remember” on May 12 that involved a one-mile walk to honor the officers.
Friday’s tribute consisted of the reading of the names of Yolo County’s fallen officers, a prayer, a salute and a bagpipe tribute song. Current and retired officers as well as law enforcement members attended the event alongside groups like the Yolo County Sheriff’s Office and Sheriff’s Team of Active Retired Seniors (STARS), a group of retired volunteers who serve as a supporting role to deputies. Members of the community paid their respects as well.
Travis Weaver, a resident of Woodland and a former marine, attended.
“[I came] to support and show honor to the fallen police officers and support our local heroes,” Weaver said.
Rob Strange, chief investigator at the Yolo County District Attorney’s Office, gave a brief history of National Peace Officers Memorial Day and how Yolo County began to commemorate the national day.
“It has been recognized since John F. Kennedy was president. Locally, we wanted to recognize that there was a venue for both law enforcement, really for the community to come together and to honor the ultimate sacrifices that have been paid by these eleven Yolo County law enforcement officers,” Strange said.
He also added that he shares this event with his family.
“My family bears a lot of sacrifice for the work that I do and the odd hours and late call-outs to emergency scenes and crimes scenes so it’s really a way not only to honor these folks, but really to say thank you to the community that supports us,” Strange said.
Jim Hanney, commander of STARS and a retired federal law enforcement officer, also expressed his reason for attending.
“I have great feelings for the need to pay our respects to the officers who didn’t make it to retirement,” Hanney said.
Graphic by Jennifer Wu.