SACRAMENTO — The 10 members of Lodi Police Department’s Honor Guard and a member of the patrol unit joined dozens of law enforcement agencies throughout the state in honoring a fallen officer Thursday.
Lodi Sgt. Kevin Kent said the funeral and procession for Sacramento Police Officer Tara O’Sullivan was somber, but was a way to recognize her commitment to keeping her community safe.
“It symbolizes what Officer O’Sullivan gave for her community, and the sacrifice she made in doing so,” he said.
O’Sullivan, 26, was shot and killed last week while responding to a domestic violence report in Sacramento’s Del Paso Heights neighborhood.
She was the first Sacramento police officer to be killed in the line of duty in 20 years, and she had been on the job less than a year.
A first procession was held for O’Sullivan on Thursday morning, beginning in Elk Grove. Her casket was moved from a funeral home there to Bayside Church’s Adventure Campus in Roseville.
Kent said he and the Lodi Honor Guard drove to Roseville prior to the first procession to gather for the “Walk of Honor,” in which O’Sullivan’s colleagues from the Sacramento Police Department carried her casket into the church.
Those in attendance then made their way inside the church for the memorial, and afterward embarked on a second procession back to Elk Grove, he said.
Kent said it was nice to see the support for O’Sullivan not only from law enforcement agencies, but from the community as well.
“Families were out on the streets waving flags as we drive by,” he said.
“People lined up on overpasses and were waving and cheering. This also is a show of community support not only for her, but for law enforcement in general.”
Kent said the Honor Guard participates in about five ceremonies honoring fallen officers each year, including the San Joaquin Peace Officer Memorial at the Stockton Police Department and California Peace Officer Memorial at the State Capitol, both of which are held in May.
In January, the unit attended the memorials for Davis Police Department Officer Natalie Corona and Newman Police Department Corporal Romil Singh.
Singh, 33, was shot and killed in December during a DUI stop in Newman. His memorial was held Jan. 8 in Stanislaus County. Two days later, the 22-year-old Corona was gunned down by a bystander as she responded to a vehicle accident in Davis. Her memorial was Jan. 18.
Kent said the memorials the Honor Guard attends are not limited to California. Ten years ago, the guard attended a memorial in Washington to honor Lakewood Police Department Sgt. Mark Renninger and officers Ronald Owens, Tina Griswold and Greg Richards.
All four were shot and killed before their patrol shift on Nov. 29, 2009 as they worked on their laptops in a Parkland, Wash., coffee shop.
“Typically, the Honor Guard attends events where we can drive to and from within a day,” he said.
There have been 60 members of law enforcement agencies from across the country that have died in the line of duty this year, according to www.odmp.org, the Officer Down Memorial Page.
Four of the fallen have been from California, including O’Sullivan and Corona, as well as Los Angeles Police Department Officer Esmerelda Ramirez and California Highway Patrol Sgt. Steven Licon.
Ramirez, 49, died from surgery complications in June related to a 2015 on-duty traffic collision in which she was involved.
Licon, 53, was killed by a drunk driver in April while conducting a traffic stop on Interstate 15 in Lake Elsinore.