Emergency service employees return to their vehicles in preparation for letting their sirens wail.

This article was written by BenitoLink intern Marisa Sachau

On May 20 the Hollister Police Department, along with other emergency service agencies, gathered to pay their respects to California police officers who died in the line of duty or from COVID-19 in 2021. 

Also present were emergency medical technicians and members of Hollister Fire Department, San Benito County Sheriff’s Department, Probation Department, and Animal Control. Twenty-one emergency vehicles were lined up before the event got underway at Veterans Memorial Park.

Although the attendees were mostly emergency service employees, there were about 10 civilians who came out to pay their respects. 

Following an explanation of the event by Hollister Police Sgt. Bo Leland, the dispatcher on duty made an announcement on the radio: “Hollister to all units. Today is May 20, 2022. Hollister, San Benito County, public safety personnel have gathered to pay their respects to all the brave men and women in law enforcement who have lost their lives in the line of duty in 2021.” After this, the names of 38 California police officers were read.

Sirens wailed for about 30 seconds after the dispatcher finished reading the names. Then each emergency vehicle exited the parking lot, keeping their headlights on as they returned to work.

Leland told attendees before the gathering: “Obviously this last week was all about the memorialization and remembrance of those officers that died in the line of duty and it’s a solid pride that we take in honoring those officers with a display like we are going to do today.”

According to the National Law Enforcement Memorial Fund, National Police week was established after President John Kennedy in 1962 decreed May 15 as National Peace Officers Memorial Day. The week following May 15 is National Police Week, in which agencies honor police officers who have died in the line of duty. 


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