Reader S. L. Blackwood, a lieutenant emeritus, writes:

Can’t disagree with anything that was said here. Thanks to Jim for sharing his thoughts and observations with those of us who could not attend the funeral. We all know the risks when we raise our right hand and take the oath, but that doesn’t make it any less tragic when something like this occurs.

I just wish that Jim and other POA/DSA presidents would have given this type of scenario some serious thought before they agreed to endorse the most police hating, liberal judge appointing, anti-death penalty crusading, Rose Bird-supporting former governor this state has ever known in my lifetime, for the distinguished position of attorney general. Somehow, I doubt that our newly elected A.G. will be in favor of giving the poor misguided gang-banger that murdered Officer Bessant the death penalty because of his young and tender age when he pulled the trigger. More likely, he’d rather burden the law abiding citizens of this state with a host of new gun laws instead. Time will tell…

Ashley Aluisi, Executive Director, San Diego County Crime Commission writes:

Thank you, Jim, for writing on this topic and to all who serve in law enforcement, putting yourselves in harms way day in and day out. The mortality of a law enforcement officer is an emotional issue that most cops don’t like to think about. But law enforcement officers truly are cut from a different cloth it seems. And the people of San Diego County appreciate the sacrifices made.

As executive director of the San Diego County Crime Commission, I know how important this issue is to the public. Since the early 1980’s, the Crime Commission has worked towards connecting law enforcement to the community through various educational and outreach programs. One of the most meaningful ways this is through the Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Service held annually in Balboa Park.

With the support of then San Diego Chief of Police Bill Kolender, our current Sheriff, and your late father Sheriff John Duffy (who no doubt would be very proud of all your accomplishments), the Crime Commission began an annual ceremony to honor the fallen officers and deputies in San Diego County who died in the line of duty. For over twenty years now, that ceremony of honor has continued on and the Crime Commission is proud to have been a part of its inception.

For many years, both the Crime Commission and the San Diego County Law Enforcement Memorial Foundation used the Organ Pavilion in Balboa Park as the location for this very public memorial ceremony. It is a beautiful location of ornate character, but it lacks a physical symbol or monument as a place to gather around and to forever hold the names of those cherished heroes who we’ve lost.

Thanks to your leadership and the support of Supervisor Ron Roberts and Supervisor Greg Cox, we will finally have an equally beautiful location on the waterfront of San Diego Bay for holding the law enforcement memorial ceremony. But this time, with a monument that was collectively designed by all of San Diego’s law enforcement officers that they can call their own.

Thanks for writing.

— JIM DUFFY

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