This past week has been one of tribute and remembrance.
On Monday, May 6, I attended the 37th Annual California Peace Officers' Memorial Ceremony honoring fallen peace officers and their families for the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty. Since California became a state, over 1,500 officers have paid that price for public safety.
The ceremony was a poignant reminder of the solemn commitment our peace officers selflessly live by: to protect others and to be willing to lay down their life at a moment's notice. Among those honored this year were City of Riverside Police Officer Michael Crain, killed in the line of duty on February 7, 2013 and California Department of Corrections Officer Gilbert Cortez killed in the line of duty on March 24, 2013. Next year, Officers Crain and Cortez will be enrolled and their names inscribed on the California Peace Officers' Memorial in Sacramento.
As you may recall, Officer Crain was ambushed in the line of duty during a horrific killing spree perpetuated by a former LAPD officer. Officer Cortez was killed when his SUV crashed while enroute to a remote facility operation. Both Officer Crain and Officer Cortez's sacrifices are not only worth honoring, it is imperative that those sacrifices are never forgotten for the sake of our heritage and our future.
Public safety is the backbone of our communities ensuring we can safely live and raise our families. I salute the tremendous sacrifices those in public safety make each and every day, and am truly humbled by the magnitude of those sacrifices.
It is truly a privilege to serve you.
RICHARD D. ROTH
Senator, 31st District