Every May law enforcement in Stanislaus County join together to remember those who died in the line of duty. With five of those names coming from the ranks of the Turlock Police Department, there has long been a desire by the men and women of the department to pay tribute to those fallen officers. This year they got such an opportunity when the department’s Honor Guard was selected to participate in the National Peace Officer’s Memorial week tributes.
“For a town our size to have lost five is unusual, so I think that helped us stand out,” said Turlock Police Lt. Ron Reid, who organized the trip for the honor guard.
Through donations from the community and the Turlock Associated Police Officers union, the Honor Guard was able to purchase new uniforms and fully fund a trip to Washington D. C. to participate in the ceremonies and tributes.
“We’re all very thankful for all the support the community showed us,” Reid said. “It was a very humbling experience and we couldn’t have done it without the help of everyone.”
The Turlock Police Department Honor Guard is made up of Officer Michael Simbalenko, Officer Tony Argueta, Officer Gerardo Higareda, Officer Katie Manica, Dispatch Supervisor Kathleen Keller, and Sgt. Ramon Godoy.
The Honor Guard took part in several ceremonial events, including standing vigil at the peace officer memorial wall. They also were on hand for a speech from President Barack Obama and for a candlelight vigil with thousands of law enforcement members.
“D.C. rolled out the red carpet for us,” Reid said. “It was a healthy reminder that what we do is good work.”