Garden Grove

“Fallen Five” a core of GGPD’s history

THE NICHOLSON PIPES AND DRUMS at Thursday’s police memorial event in Garden Grove (OC Tribune photos).

By Jim Tortolano

The 32nd Annual “Call to Duty” Memorial honoring the five Garden Grove Police Department officers killed in the line of duty touched strongly on the history of the department, including remarks by a former GGPD chief.

Officers, community members and others gathered in front of the police facility on Acacia Parkway Thursday afternoon to reflect on the service and sacrifice not just of the “Fallen Five,” but also of all those who have chosen a career in law enforcement.

“Cops are special,” said Joseph Polisar, who retired as Garden Grove’s chief of police in 2011 after 12 years in the post. “They believe that people who are good enough to be cops are special and that the institution we are bonded in is special.” He went on to say “Democracy couldn’t exist without the police. They are what I like to call the referees in the Great Game of Life.”

The current chief, Tom DaRé, also spoke, speaking on what he called “The Thin Blue Line” between society and its enemies, calling for police to “provide the best service possible and hold each other accountable.”

“I am honored to work with each and every one of you,” he said. “Our culture was passed down to us by the heroes who came before us.”

Thursday afternoon’s ceremony included the placing of flowers by family members of the “Fallen Five” on a  memorial wreath, the Nicholson Pipes and Drums, vocals by the Bolsa Grande High School Concert Choir and guest singer Virginia Gonzalez, a 21-gun salute as well as a flyover by three public safety helicopters.




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