STOCKTON (CBS13) — A group in San Joaquin County is working to redesign the Fallen Peace Officer Memorial that sits in downtown Stockton in front of the police department.
Right now, the names of 19 slain officers are on the memorial, but there are more than a dozen still missing. Volunteers have spent the last seven years trying to raise enough money to cover the cost to remodel this memorial which is missing a long list of fallen officers
Pastor Kevin White knows the sacrifice law enforcement makes every day. His brother proudly served the community as an officer.
“The suspect crashed his car and ran off. My brother got out looking for him. It was an unarmed man but he was much larger than my brother and he attacked him. Got his flashlight away from him and beat him into a coma and he died two weeks later,” White said.
Timothy White died in 1990, the same year a memorial was built in front of the Stockton Police department to honor fallen officers in San Joaquin County. There were 19 individuals being memorialized on Tuesday.
“My kids never met my brother but he is very real to them. They know the story. They have seen pictures and it’s also a source of pride for them to know a member of their family gave his all to serve and protect his community,” said White.
Every year agencies gather in front of the memorial to pay tribute to their brothers in blue. Unfortunately, there are a total of 16 names not included on the memorial.
Members of the San Joaquin County Fallen Peace Officers Foundation are working to fix the problem.
“We established a committee to design, to help fundraise and built the new memorial that will fit all the names and any other unfortunate, circumstances where we have to add more names to it,” said Mark McLaughlin, San Joaquin County Fallen Peace Officers Foundation.
The center will list the officers killed in the line of duty surrounded by guardian bricks that can be purchased by law enforcement. The site will also feature other bricks community members can buy.
“Yesterday is the goal. So, we are living on borrowed time. We’re trying to get as much done. We’re still going to be working no matter what, we are going to get this built. If it takes forever,” said McLaughlin.
The new memorial will be built in three phases. The first part will cost $250,000. Organizers said they have already raised $50,000 but a lot more is needed to get this project complete.