The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department has a long tradition of honoring fallen officers with a “Blue Light Ceremony”.
But this year the administration sent guests an email saying the events in Riverside and the Coachella Valley were being canceled.
Sergeant Michael Casavan with the the Palm Springs Police Department says this ceremony has deep meaning, “It’s incredibly important as an officer to remember the fallen officers because you’re able to pay tribute but respect that they’ve given the ultimate sacrifice.”
So without question or hesitation they decided to put on the ceremony.
“We saw it as an opportunity to be able bring this to our community that way we can truly honor those who are fallen and given their life for their community.” he says adding it’s something that hits close to home after the deaths of Offiers Jose “Gil” Vega and Lesley Zerebny, “well obviously with the recent tragic deaths of our two officers in 2016 it was extremely important to take the lead and make it happen.”
The Riverside Police Department says they too are honored to hold the ceremony in their city that pays tribute to the 64 lives of the men and women killed in the line of duty and support their families.
Casavan says that’s the real meaning of the ceremony, “This is about you guys and the fallen officers, it’s not about anything else,” adding it’s just what they do for their blue family regardless of agency, “we never leave an officer behind and we’ll never leave an officer’s family behind.”
We reached out to the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department to ask why the ceremony was canceled but never received a response.
We also reached out to Sheriff-elect Chad Bianco who said the ceremony will be back on next year when he takes office.
The Coachella Valley Blue Light Ceremony will be hosted this year by the Palm Springs Police Department on December 10th at 6:00 p.m. at the Palm Springs Convention Center.
The Riverside Police Department will hold the annual ceremony on Monday, December 17, 2018, at 6:00 p.m., inside the Board of Supervisor Chambers at the County Administrative Center, located at 4080 Lemon Street in downtown Riverside.
They also posted this to their social media pages:
The “Blue Light” ceremony honors all Peace Officers in Riverside County who have lost their lives in the line of duty. It is a time to celebrate the lives of the 64 officers who were taken from us, and a time to show support for the families they left behind. The blue light is symbolic of our remembrance of those officers who died, but also honors the officers who continue to work today. Please join us in displaying blue lights during the month of December to show your support.
For Survivor family members wishing to attend, please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org or (951) 955-9529.