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Two sections of Highway 99 to be named for fallen law enforcement

POSTED September 10, 2010 10:28 p.m.

Two resolutions passed unanimously by the Legislature will rename portions of Highway 99 in Stanislaus and Merced counties for two men killed in the line of duty.

Senate Concurrent Resolution 118, authored by Senator Jeff Denham (R-Merced), will honor Officer Jose Rivera, a federal correctional officer who was employed at the United States Penitentiary in Atwater. Officer Rivera was violently murdered by two inmates on June 20, 2008. “Officer Rivera’s murder was senseless and heartbreaking especially at his young age of 23,” said Denham. “We can only hope that this small tribute to Officer Rivera and his family serves as a reminder of his sacrifice and that the safety of all our law enforcement officers is a matter of statewide and national concern.” SCR 118 will designate a portion of State Highway Route 99 running through the City of Atwater as the “Correctional Officer Jose Rivera Memorial Highway.” Officer Rivera grew up in Chowchilla and graduated from Le Grand High School in 2003. He enlisted in the United States Navy and served four years, including two tours in Iraq. After returning home, Officer Rivera began working for the Federal Bureau of Prisons in Atwater. Assemblywoman Cathleen Galgiani is a coauthor of SCR 118.SCR 120, also authored by Denham, will honor Earl Scott, a California Highway Patrol Officer who was shot and killed while making a traffic stop on Highway 99 in Stanislaus County on Feb. 17, 2006.“As a CHP Officer, Earl faced dangers on a daily basis while protecting all of our community,” said Denham.  “His murder is a tragedy that will forever haunt his family and our community.  While Officer Scott’s murderer was recently sentenced to a life term in prison, it can never make up for the monstrous and merciless crime he committed.This measure will designate a portion of State Highway Route 99 in Stanislaus County between the Pelandale Avenue exit and Junction 219 as the “CHP Officer Earl Scott Memorial Highway.”Officer Earl Scott was 36 years old and had been with the CHP for five years.  He came from a long line of family members who have worked in the CHP, including his father, two uncles and a cousin.  He was a frequent volunteer for community causes such as the “Shave the Brave” fundraiser for cancer victims and he often took youth Law Enforcement Explorers on ride-alongs.  He is survived by his father, stepmother and sister.Galgiani successfully managed SCR 120 in the Assembly, helping ensure passage before the midnight bill deadline on Aug. 31.  Senator Dave Cogdill and Assembly members Bill and Tom Berryhill were coauthors of SCR 120. 

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