'It is a day to be proud': Sheriff LaRue speaks at Fallen Peace Officers memorial
Around the country as part of Police Week, law enforcement agencies are paying tribute to officers who have died while in the line of duty. In Siskiyou County, the Siskiyou County Peace Officers’ Memorial Ceremony event was held in front of the courthouse steps in Yreka Tuesday afternoon. The annual event honors those officers who made the ultimate sacrifice.
“Today was humbling,” said Siskiyou County Sheriff Jeremiah LaRue, who gave the remarks at the event. “As the bagpipes played 'Amazing Grace,' I found myself filled with emotion and proud to be joined by peace officers, family, and friends from all around the county to remember those we have lost.”
He said while the day certainly carried a solemn tone, "It is a day to be proud to belong to a family of brave men and women who give life to public service.”
The memorial observance recognized Siskiyou County Peace Officers who have died in the line of duty from 1897 to 1995. The last officer killed in the line of duty in Siskiyou County was Correctional Officer Rodney Foster. He was killed on Nov. 10, 1995 when his department van was struck by a truck. He was picking up medical supplies for the jail at the time of the accident.
Family members of Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Department Deputy Dale Rossetto and Reserve Deputy Lawrence Breceda attended the event. On July 31, 1986, Breceda and Rossetto were killed in an airplane accident while conducting a search for marijuana.
“Although we have tragically lost these brave individuals, we will always remember them and their courage, their faithfulness, their dedication, and their families,” LaRue said.
LaRue said that as peace officers, “we know the dangers we face each day, yet we continue to persevere through all things, mindful of those we serve and care for. We are dedicated to public service, firmly standing for justice, and we will always be here to courageously protect the freedoms we enjoy."
Siskiyou County District Attorney Kirk Andrus said it is "a powerful thing" to be a part this event each year.
“It is extremely important and valuable to take a minute to remember the local heroes from our past who gave their lives pursuing law and order so that we may experience peace,” he said. “The several histories of which I am aware of these officers’ last moments demonstrate honor, fearlessness and sacrifice that demand to be acknowledged and remembered.”