GALT — Galt Police Chief Tod Sockman on Wednesday said one would not have been able to tell that seven years have passed since officer Kevin Tonn was killed in the line of duty.
Speaking at the annual memorial for Tonn, the chief said every year the city, department, family and friends come together to honor his memory. More than 100 were in attendance.
“I can tell you right now, as a true believer, that Kevin is looking down on us right now, smiling at the turnout, and proud of this city and the people that are here to support him,” Sockman said.
Tonn, 35, was shot by a man at 11:30 a.m. on Jan. 15, 2013 during an altercation as he and another Galt officer were investigating a burglary reported in the 200 block of F Street.
According to Galt police, the two officers were interviewing witnesses when one identified the burglar, who was about a block away.
Tonn approached the man, who became aggressive and began struggling with him. The man pulled a handgun during the incident and shot Tonn, who was pronounced dead at the Kaiser Permanente South Sacramento hospital.
The suspect opened fire on other officers before killing himself. None of the other officers responding to the scene were injured.
A medic and firefighter in New York before coming to California, Tonn had been with the Galt Police Department for three and a half years.
At the time of his death, Tonn was a member of the department’s K-9 unit.
Tonn was the first Galt officer to be killed in the line of duty.
A moment of silence was held Wednesday at 11:30 a.m., at the location where Tonn was killed. The site is marked with a Thin Blue Line Flag and a cross bearing his name, badge number and End of Watch date.
The department’s Color Guard then placed a wreath on the Kevin Tonn Memorial outside Galt City Hall.
“He had a life of service,” Sockman said. “And what has happened following his death is that (his) life of service continues, and it continues on through others and different functions. Through his family, through nonprofits that have been created, and the connection with the Special Olympics. All those things live on through Kevin’s memory.”
Prior to his death, Tonn had been working to bring awareness to the Special Olympics, forming a friendship with a young woman he hoped to see swim. The girl and her swim team competed in Tonn’s memory in the summer of 2013.
Tonn’s father Will thanked those who attended Wednesday’s memorial for their ongoing support to keep the officer’s memory alive.
“(The support) hasn’t stopped, hasn’t let off,” he said. “So that’s a great encouragement to us. It also speaks to the officers that are wearing the badge today. God forbid something should happen to them. This is a testimony to them that their family will remember them and take care of them.”
After the ceremony, Mayor Paul Sandhu called Tonn an asset to the community.
“We lost a great asset,” Sandhu said. “And it was too soon. That’s why we, every day, remember him. We, as a community, have to.”