REDDING, Calif. - From the late 1800s until the 1990s, 16 peace officers have lost their lives in the line of duty in Shasta County.
Thursday officers from several different local law enforcement agencies gathered outside the Shasta County Courthouse to pay their respects to those who made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty.
“These peace officers that we see on these tables before us have sacrificed everything they had for the greater good of the community,” Shasta County marshall Joel Northrup said.
The annual ceremony is organized by the Shasta County Peace Officers' Memorial Coalition which provides services to the family of local officers who have been killed in the line of duty.
For Sheriff Tom Bosenko who emceed the event, this day hits close to home.
“I have two friends up there,” Bosenko said. “One was my training officer, and one I was his training officer whose names are there now ... You never never forget. That pain is always there. It doesn't go away.”
Those officers were Dennis Sullivan who died in 1987 and Ken Perrigo who died in 1991.
And even though there have been many close calls, there has been no loss of law enforcement lives since then.
“But we've been very, very fortunate,” Bosenko said. “And there's been an uptick in training over the years, and that's a big part of it as well, protective equipment also for our officers.”
But Redding police sergeant Chris Smyrnos says it's something that's always in the back of officers' minds and can weigh heavily on family members.
“You know when your loved one walks out the door, you're always praying and hoping that they make it home safely at the end of their shift,” he said. “As we know, this job is very, it can change drastically from minute to minute.”
But despite their different agencies, these officers share a common bond.
And when an officer falls, it affects every one of them.
“We're all a family of law enforcement, and we don't forget and we grieve together,” Bosenko said.
The ceremony also included a memorial run with law enforcement officers running one mile for each officer who died in the line of duty in the history of Shasta County.