Garden Grove

Whittier officer’s death mourned here

ATTENDEES at the prayer vigil Tuesday in Garden Grove lit candles as they honored Whittier Police Officer Keith Boyer (OC Tribune photo).

ATTENDEES at the prayer vigil Tuesday in Garden Grove lit candles as they honored slain Whittier Police Officer Keith Boyer (OC Tribune photo).

By Jim Tortolano

The pain of the community of Whittier was solemnly shared by the people of Garden Grove on Tuesday at a “Peaceful Prayer Vigil” in honor of Officer Keith Boyer, who was slain by a gunman on Feb. 20.

At the event sponsored by the Garden Grove Neighborhood Association and the Garden Grove Downtown Business Association in front of the police headquarters, tribute was paid to Boyer, 53, who was killed in a shootout in Whittier after responding to a traffic accident.

CHRISY GECK-ORCHOLSKI played the bagpipe at Tuesday's vigil (OC Tribune photo).

CHRISY GECK-ORCHOLSKI played the bagpipe at Tuesday’s vigil (OC Tribune photo).

Mike Rosario, president of the Whittier Police Association and a former GGPD officer, described Boyer as a “go-to guy” who always had a positive, results-oriented attitude.

Garden Grove Police Chief Todd Elgin spoke in front of bronze memorials of the five local GGPD officers killed in the line of duty. “They are reminders of the challenges we face every day,” he said.

He also tied death of Boyer to Proposition 47, a ballot measure approved by California voters in 2014, which re-categorized some violent offenses as misdemeanors, rather than felonies. The intent was to reduce the state’s large prison population, but many in law enforcement argue that the passage of Proposition 47, along with policy decisions by Gov. Jerry Brown, had prompted an increase in crime.

Arrested for Boyer’s murder was Christopher Mejia, 26, a gang member and convicted felon released from prison in April 2016.

Opening remarks were by Councilwoman Stephanie Klopfenstein (District 5). The National Anthem was performed by Missy Mendoza, Miss Garden Grove, and bagpipe music was provided by Chrisy Geck-Orcholski.

Toward the end of the event, attendees were invited to light candles in memory of Boyer and to pray for peace.

GARDEN GROVE Police Chief Todd Elgin saw a connection between the murder of Keith Elgin and recent changes in the state's criminal justice system (OC Tribune photo).

GARDEN GROVE Police Chief Todd Elgin saw a connection between the murder of Keith Boyer and recent changes in the state’s criminal justice system (OC Tribune photo).

 

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