In a deliberately small ceremony, only three retired law enforcement officers, as well as a representative from American Legion Post 77 attended the noon Thursday event.
The lack of publicity about the ceremony was done as a means of limiting the spread of the coronavirus. Had too many people shown up it would have been difficult for them to keep their distance from one another in the small, front entryway sidewalk to the Historic Yolo County Courthouse.
Even so, it was still impossible for the three people placing the wreath in front of the jet-black memorial to keep their distance from one another, since they had to carry the wreath together and place it on a pedestal.
Normally, around 200 mourners would be in attendance, but because of the pandemic, there were no serving officers, or members of the District Attorney’s Office, who typically attend the service.
There wasn’t even much of a memorial. Don Campbell simply read the names of those service members who lost their lives in the line of duty while Doug Bera recited a prayer in their memory. Lee Refsland helped place the wreath and American Legion Post 77 member Vince Olvera performed Taps on the trumpet.
Since 1912, 12 members of the local law enforcement community have died in the line of duty — the most recent being Davis Police Officer Natalie Corona.
The Yolo County Fallen Officers Memorial takes place annually during National Police Week, when the nation celebrates the contributions of law enforcement from around the country, recognizing their work, dedication, loyalty and commitment to keeping communities safe. This year, the COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the courage and unwavering devotion of law enforcement officers to the communities they swore to serve, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Three of the law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty being remembered this week are from the Eastern District of California and include Davis Police Officer Natalie Corona, killed in January 2019; Officer Tara O’Sullivan of the Sacramento Police Department, and Deputy Brian Ishmael of the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Department.
The names of the fallen officers who have been added in 2020 to the wall at the National Law Enforcement Memorial were read on Wednesday, during a Virtual Annual Candlelight Vigil.
The Yolo County memorial is a creation of the Yolo County Retired Peace Officers Association and was constructed in 2013.
By JIM SMITH | firstname.lastname@example.org | Woodland Daily Democrat
PUBLISHED: May 14, 2020 at 3:07 p.m. | UPDATED: May 14, 2020 at 3:08 p.m.
For the first time in nearly a decade, relatives and close friends who would attend the annual memorial ceremony honoring Yolo County law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty were not allowed to because of the coronavirus pandemic.
2020 Memorial Ceremony
2021 Memorial Ceremony