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Annual memorial honors Santa Clara County’s fallen police officers

SAN JOSE — Forty-one seconds of silence passed on the police dispatch broadcast, one for every police officer in Santa Clara County history who gave their life in the line of duty.
Three Gilroy police officers led a riderless horse, with the boots affixed to reversed stirrups, a traditional gesture to honor a fallen soldier or leader.
Officers from all 13 police agencies in the county, along with a bevy of civic leaders and the surviving families, assembled Friday for a solemn remembrance of their past brethren who gave the ultimate sacrifice. The ceremony was held near the end of National Police Week .
The first officer in the county to gain the somber distinction was Martin J. Roohan, a Sheriff’s deputy killed on Oct. 23, 1862. The most recent was San Jose police Officer Michael Katherman, who died in a motorcycle crash on June 14, 2016.
At the Friday ceremony, county supervisor Cindy Chavez and State Sen. Jim Beall, a former supervisor, gave speeches on behalf of the county’s residents.

Moving ceremony for County of Santa Clara, California ‘s Peace Officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty. Year after year, family members left behind are kind enough to allow us to pay tribute to their loved ones & a very painful & private time in their lives.
— Cindy Chavez (@SupCindyChavez) May 18, 2018

Surviving family members took time afterward to view a plaque wall adorned with the names of all 41 fallen officers.

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To date, the agencies in the county that have experienced the loss of an officer in the line of duty are police from Palo Alto, Santa Clara, Sunnyvale and San Jose, as well as the Sheriff’s Office, California Highway Patrol and the Santa Clara County State Traffic Force, a CHP predecessor.
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