A Message from the Chief
I recently found myself at the State Capitol. Having worked there for so many years, it is a place in which I find comfort and peace from the hectic world we all experience. The grounds are quite lovey and inviting. As I usually do, I made my way to the Peace Officers Memorial. With all that has transpired these past few weeks, I reflected upon a speech I gave a few years ago at this very spot. It was comforting to me and personally, I feel compelled to openly share some of my thoughts; For the past 30 years, the California Peace Officer's Memorial has stood as a reminder of those personal sacrifices and as a living testament to the indomitable spirit of those who have paid the ultimate cost. It serves as a hallowed place for all who visit to pay homage to these brave soldiers of the law who have fallen in the Line of Duty, and to remember the many families and friends they have left behind.
This extraordinary site also holds a very special place in my heart; not only because of the many law enforcement heroes it stands to remember, but because of the profound impact it has had, and continues to have, on the lives of so many visitors to our Capitol each and every year. As one of thousands who attended the candlelight vigil here last May, I was deeply moved by the sight of this silhouetted monument and the raw emotions of family and friends assembled here at this special place. A place where hearts connect and each of us can for a moment in time, share the pain and memories of those who have gone before us. For me personally, this place seemed to have almost a spiritual-like quality during this and every vigil I have attended at the memorial.
Each year, thousands of children on school field trips and vacationing families from throughout the world come to the State Capitol and tour its beautiful grounds. In doing so, they inevitably find themselves at this very spot. Not surprisingly, I have seen the faces of countless schoolchildren and visitors unexpectedly transformed as they visit this place, and look up in awe at the rugged and seemingly larger than life figures of police offices depicted in bronze. Almost instinctively, and often without a single word spoken, even the youngest visitors seem to somehow comprehend the magnitude and nature of this place and what it stands for. For many, they begin to understand what these officers represent and, most importantly, what these officers and their families have sacrificed on their behalf. They learn from both parents and teachers that the officers memorialized on the wall before them stood willingly on the front lines of good and evil each day and, ultimately, gave their very lives to protect them at all costs.
Inscribed on this living monument are the names of those who, over the past 169 years, have chosen public service above all else, have answered the call during our greatest times of need, and in their final hour, did not swerve from the path of duty. They are truly California's heroes!
For all of you, you walk amongst them. You are an American law enforcement officer. Our community and our country are deeply thankful for what you do! Please take care of yourself as we traverse through this difficult time. I am very thankful and humbled to serve alongside of you.
Joseph A. Farrow
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