By Jim Tortolano/Orange County Tribune
At Thursday’s 35th annual “Call to Duty” Police Memorial, the Garden Grove Police Department had the sad duty of adding another name and plaque to the list of officers who gave their lives in the service of the community.
The “Fallen Five” becomes “Six” with the commemoration of Lt. John Reynolds, who died on Jan. 17, 2021 from the effects of coronavirus which is believed to have been contracted on the job.
“Each law enforcement officer who dies in the line of duty has a big impact on the community,” said Chief Tom DaRe. Speaking of the impact of COVID-19 on the GGPD, he said the effect was especially felt in the watch commander’s office.
“The majority of the command staff had tested positive for COVID all with varying degrees of symptoms. Lt. Reynolds, while not having tested positive at this point, worked tirelessly to make sure we could adequately police our community, and was an integral part of our emergency operations team.”
A large crowd was on hand in front of police headquarters on Acacia Parkway for the solemn ceremonies and speeches. Serving as master of ceremonies was Deputy Chief Amir El-Farra. The Bolsa Grande Concert Choir sang, “America the Beautiful” and “We Remember Them.”
As is traditional, the families of the fallen placed a rose on the memorial wreath. There was a 21-gun salute and a flyover by a helicopter.
The featured speaker was former Garden Grove Police Chief John Robertson.
“Police officers are the glue that holds society together,” he said. “All you have to do is think about what’s happened in the last couple of years when [there were calls] to defund the police and police were ordered to stand down and what happened in those cities. It was anarchy; it was chaos. The police are the glue.”
Opening and closing the event was the GGPD Honor Guard and the Nicholson Pipes and Drums.
Categories: Garden Grove