By: Captain David Honda, San Jose Police Department
In 1962, President John F. Kennedy signed a proclamation designating May 15 as Peace Officers Memorial Day and the week in which that date falls as Police Week. Each May, tens of thousands of officers around the world participate in a multitude of planned events honoring those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for their communities, their state, and country.
Last year, 127 officers were killed in the line of duty nationwide. Of those, 15 were right here in the state of California. Three days ago we lost two more: Trooper Trevor Casper of the Wisconsin State Patrol and Officer Mike Johnson of the San Jose Police Department. Both were killed by gunfire as they worked to protect the citizens of their communities. As I write this article, we at the San Jose Police Department are in mourning as we pay tribute to Officer Johnson for his heroism and dedication, and honor his wife and family for their sacrifice. Words cannot describe the emotions overwhelming me and my police family right now. I am truly honored and proud to serve with some of the greatest people the world will ever know.
On the night of Officer Johnson’s death, a contingent of volunteers from Concerns of Police Survivors (C.O.P.S.) arrived to help support the officers and their families. Their mere presence alone was uplifting and their support both physically and emotionally was invaluable. The C.O.P.S. mission is to provide, “resources to assist in the rebuilding of the lives of surviving families and affected co-workers of law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty…” They also provide support through their Hands-On, National Counseling and C.O.P.S. Kids and Teens programs. These programs help rebuild lives through camps, retreats and conferences for fallen officers’ spouses, children and co-workers.
It is easy to become so busy with our everyday lives that these families can fade into an afterthought as time passes. We must continue to maintain connection, support and friendship to help in the healing process. Each year, the California Peace Officers’ Association (CPOA) hosts the CPOA Run to Remember at Shadow Cliffs Regional Park in Pleasanton. This memorial run is a family event and BBQ that honors those Law Enforcement personnel that have paid the ultimate price in service to their communities. Here we can come together with family, friends and community members to support each other in a healthy way, while supporting our survivor families.
The Run to Remember includes a 10k run, a 5K run/walk and a Kids Fun Run. Come as an individual, a family or even a departmental team. If running is not your thing, you can register to support the cause and enjoy a fun day with great people and great food from the Outback Steak House. The event is organized by the CPOA Region II Board, CPOA, The Business Law Enforcement Alliance (BLEA) and representatives from C.O.P.S. Proceeds benefit charities such as C.O.P.S.. We will have a police helicopter and a SWAT special vehicle available for viewing, as well as face painting for kids.
Last year, nearly 1,000 participants raised almost $9,000 for the C.O.P.S. organization. Help us break that record by registering for the 7th Annual CPOA Run to Remember on Saturday, May 9, 2015. Help care for and protect the families of our fallen colleagues. You can register by visiting the CPOA website or Active.com. The links are listed below.
My fellow Board members and I hope to see you there! Race details are listed below.
Time: Race day registration/check-in begins at 7:30 a.m.
The 10K starts at 8:20 a.m., the 5K at 9 a.m.
The Kid’s Fun Run starts at 10:15 a.m.
This event features a Kid’s Fun Run/Walk! – A challenging and scenic 1-mile course inside Shadow Cliffs Park for kids up to 12 years old. Participants will receive a food ticket & finisher awards!
Race Fees: 5K Run/Walk $40 ($45/race day), 10K Run $40 ($45/race day), Kids Mile $20 ($25/race day)
Start/Finish: All runs are entirely inside Shadow Cliffs Regional Park.
Awards: All runners pre-registered by May 1st will receive a T-shirt. Thereafter, T-shirts cannot be guaranteed to be available. Trophies to top overall male and female runners, medals to top three runners in each age division.
The Outback BBQ begins at 10 a.m. and includes a main, side, chips and drink. Registered runners receive one free food ticket with paid registration. Extra food tickets are $12.
Author: Captain David Honda, San Jose Police Department is a CPOA Region II Board Member.