Although we honor their memory and sacrifice everyday, the month of May brings a special time each year when law enforcement personnel can come together with family members, friends, dignitaries, community leaders, elected officials, and the community to recognize and remember our fallen heroes in special memorial ceremonies locally and throughout the nation.
This year's ceremonies included a caravan by Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department personnel to attend the California Peace Officers' Memorial in Sacramento on May 7. Among other agencies who lost their brethren in 2009, the Oakland Police Department was especially impacted. To honor our fallen heroes, deputies joined police officers from several other agencies to make the trip.
Throughout the month of May, Santa Clarita deputies will participate in several other memorial events in remembrance of fallen comrades at home and abroad. Paying personal tribute to all the law enforcement officers who have given their life in the line of duty and their families who have lost their sons, brothers, sisters, fathers, mothers, or other loved ones.
Many will attend the National Peace Officers' Memorial in Washington D.C. and the 41st Annual Los Angeles County Peace Officers' Memorial Ceremony to be held on Wednesday, May 26.
Station personnel will also be involved with the the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department's 2010 Memorial Torch Relay Run, which will begin at 9 a.m. on Friday, May 21 and end on Sunday May 23. The relay run covers 339 miles. The Torch Relay starts at the Sherman Block Sheriff’s Headquarters Building in Monterey Park and travels non-stop throughout the day and night to each mainland Sheriff’s Station. The memorial relay run will honor the memory of those brave and dedicated individuals in Los Angeles County who have sacrificed their lives in the performance of their duties during the past year.
The Memorial Torch is passed from teams of runners, bikers, walkers, and joggers, who devote their own time to honor the memory of all those who have fallen. The Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station will run five legs of the Relay, covering 25.7 miles throughout the Santa Clarita Valley.
The torch will ultimately be used on Wednesday, May 26 at the 41st Annual Los Angeles County Peace Officers' Memorial Ceremony, held in Memorial Park at the Los Angeles County Sheriff Department's - Sheriff's Training Academy and Regional Services (STARS) Center in Whittier, to ignite the flame at the Peace Officers' Memorial Wall in tribute to the fallen law enforcement officers.
Sheriff Lee Baca will preside over the ceremony to commemorate the lives of those peace officers who died in the line of duty while serving the residents of Los Angeles County.
Attending the memorial ceremony will be numerous federal, state, and local dignitaries, in addition to family members, friends, and co-workers of the fallen officers. The ceremony will include musical performances by members of law enforcement and the release of white doves on behalf of the fallen officers.
Officials will gather in unity to recognize the heroism and reinforce the memories of all those who were lost. The memorial events provide an opportunity every year for law enforcement personnel to demonstrate their continued unprecedented support for the families and friends of our fallen heroes. It is our goal to make sure they know their deep sense of loss is shared with our law enforcement family and we will never forget.
This year's Los Angeles County Peace Officers' Memorial will pay tribute to Deputy Marshal Samuel Blundell, Vernon Police Department, who died June 21, 1919 and through historical research, was determined to have been killed in the line of duty.
A bronze plaque with his name will now join the more than 470 law enforcement officers whose names are inscribed on the Memorial Wall.
Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station personnel will always remember three of their own fallen comrades who were tragically lost in the line of duty protecting our community. Deputy Arthur E. Pelino , shot and killed in the line of duty by a mentally deranged suspect on March 19, 1978, Deputy Hagop "Jake" Kuredjian , shot and killed in the line of duty while assisting the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms during the service of a search warrant on Friday, August 31, 2001, in Stevenson Ranch, and Deputy Randy J. Hamson , who was struck by a car while investigating a traffic collision on Saturday, August 16, 2004. After a long hard fought battle, he succumbed to his injuries on October 24, 2008.
The three deputies now forever remembered and memorialized as true heroes who dedicated their life, service, and protection to Los Angeles County and the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station. We will always honor their commitment, service, and desire to protect the innocence and quality of life in our great community -- Santa Clarita.