SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Following the tragic loss of officer Tara O’Sullivan, the Sacramento police department has seen an outpouring of support from the entire community. Now, the department is seeing a record number of people wanting to become officers.
“Tara wanted to do nothing more than to be a police officer. Specifically, she wanted to serve as a police officer in Sacramento – for the Sacramento Police Department,” Tara’s father, Denis O’Sullivan, said in a press conference Tuesday.
It’s that love Tara had for the department that is now inspiring others to follow in her footsteps/
“I thought, ‘What better way than to come through as a woman, as a young female, just come through for her and her sacrifice?” Makenna Engeldrecht, a hopeful recruit, said.
Just days after Tara’s death the department had a record turnout at a hiring event.
“I was blown away. I honestly thought we would have half the amount of people as normal because I thought everyone would run for the hills and that’s not what happened. It was very humbling. I couldn’t imagine that was going to happen,” Officer Meghan Gardner said.
A week after Tara’s death, hopeful recruits continue to follow through, attending boot camp, with a new workout named after Tara.
“Myself I’m 28. Tara was 26. I think it’s a motivator to say this young person gave their life for a cause they truly believed in heart and soul and to be able to be someone who can call themselves an officer one day, it would just be an honor,” hopeful recruit, Will Boughton, said.
Even though officers from the last two graduating classes were killed in the line of duty, it’s encouraging others to follow in their footsteps, and make them proud.
“I have a lot of people ask me, ‘Are you deterred by the death of officer Corona and officer O’Sullivan?’ and I’m not. They gave the ultimate sacrifice. That’s what this profession is about and I’m looking forward to every moment of it,” said Kailey Hothi, a hopeful recruit said.
“We have a lot of a lot of brave good people that are willing to do it and we need those people and those people are to step up no matter what,” hopeful recruit, Jonathan Fitzpatrick, said.
The department holds hiring workshops every four to six weeks, and the Bootcamp workout is held every Wednesday.