By Sandra Abdelmalak/Garden Grove Journal
Family members, students, city officials and police officers will be gathering together today (Thursday) from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. to honor the memory of the five Garden Grove police officers who died in the line of duty.
Unfortunately, the Garden Grove Police Department has lost more officers than any other municipal police agency in Orange County. However, they are committed to remembering their fallen as more than just statistics. This will be the 25th year the Garden Grove Memorial Service will be held together with National Peace Officers Week.
“This is kind of a milestone for us,” said Detective Luis A. Payan. “We do it to remember our five officers that fell.”
Detective Payan recalled that when he started working at the Police Department twelve years ago, he was first taught about the fallen five.
“We can learn from what they went through so we don’t repeat what happened,” said Detective Payan.
The department continually remembers these officers not only as an educational tool, but also honor them with a wall of their photos in the police department lobby and with a life size statue of a police officer erected outside of the police department.
“We’re not just robots, we’re human beings as well,” said Payan. “So we learn that this officer had a family.”
The families of the fallen five officers, Sergeant Myron L. Trapp, Officer Andy Reese, Officer Donald F. Reed, Officer Michael Rainford and Master Officer Howard Dallies, Jr. will also be honored at the memorial service and will be presented with flowers as they continue to suffer the loss of their loved ones.
Three students from Anderson Elementary School will serve was guest spekers, reading their essays on the importance of remembering the fallen officers.
“We never forget who they are, why they sacrificed, what they did for us,” said Detective Payan.
A police memorial service was held Wednesday in Westminster, honoring three fallen members of the Westminster Police Department, Steven Phillips, Marcus Frank and Ronald Weber, Sr.