Jermaine Gibson Jr. and Jessica Gibson help unveil the statue of a police officer holding a boy’s hand. The two lost their beloved father and husband in the line of duty. Officer Gibson was a U.S. Marine veteran and served the Cathedral City Police Department for 18 months. On March 19, 2011, Officer Gibson was killed while involved in a vehicle pursuit.
“We have to, you know wake up to it everyday, but this helps us,” Jessica Gibson said. “Knowing that the Police Department and the community remembers him.”
Cheryl Gibson remembers her brave son with much love.
“If you never met Jermaine, you missed out on a wonderful person,” Cheryl Gibson said. “He was a man behind the badge; he portrayed this huge personality all the time.”
Also honored in this memorial is Officer David Vasquez who was struck and killed by a vehicle while investigating a traffic collision on October 28, 1988. Roberta Martinez is the sister of fallen Officer Vasquez. Martinez said her brother loved serving Cathedral City, the place that launched his career and also saw him leave.
“It didn’t matter if he was in his uniform or not,” Martinez said. “That’s what he loved to do, help people, help the community.”
Chief Travis Walker from Cathedral City Police Department said they named the memorial “The Protector” to highlight the ultimate sacrifice of these officers.
“Help the public identify us more as humans, and the fact that we have a job to do and our job is to protect our community from all forms of evil,” he said.
Jessica Gibson said her 7-year-old son wants to become a police officer when he grows up. Even though he did not get to meet his father, he has heard stories from his family and Cathedral City Police Officers that help him imagine the kind of man that he was.
“It was our way of reconnecting him to the organization, to the community and somewhat to his father,” chief walker said.
At night, the memorial will be lit up with two blue lights, one for Officer Gibson and one for Officer Vasquez.