PCSO Monument Campaign
Artists Rendering of Monument
Background for the Memorial
Hardly a day goes by that we do not read about another American peace officer dying in the line of duty. In the last ten years, an average of over 175 officers, deputies and highway patrolmen have died every single year in service to their communities. In 2021, 394 more names were added to the National Law Enforcement Officers’ Memorial wall in Washington DC. There were 295 names engraved on the wall from officers who fell in 2020 and 99 names of officers whose sacrifice was lost to history until now.
In 2015, our own Detective Michael Davis Jr was added to the memorial wall next to the name of his father, Micharl Davis Sr who died in the line of duty 26 years earlier while working for the Riverside County Sheriff’s Office. That year many members of our agency travelled to Washington DC for Police Week and National Peace Officers Memorial Day. This is a time to mourn, reflect, and honor our fallen heroes.
It also revealed a deeper truth. As deeply wounding as Detective Davis’ death was for our agency and our community, and as wide as the ripples of sorrow his death caused amongst our family, friends and community, his death was only one of 157 that befell a peace officer in 2014. Each one of these deaths reverberated through that officer’s community and caused as much grief and pain as Michael’s death caused his family and his community here. One Hundred and fifty-seven times in one year. It is easy to forget the pain and destruction a peace officers’ death has when the headlines fade and a community moves forward, but for the friends, family, and co-workers of a fallen peace officer, that memory and pain lasts for decades.
We learned something else at Police Week. The National Law Enforcement Memorial is much more than a list of names documenting a sorrowful death and sacrifice. It so much more. It is easy to forget this when visiting the wall, when you do not have a personal connection to what each sacrifice means in terms of human emotion. It is easy to see name after name and not understand the depth of emotion each one symbolizes. But during Police Week, the enormity of what it truly represents is impossible to ignore. Seeing a widow mourning at the panel that bears her husband’s name. Or watching a child making an etching of their daddy or mommy’s name on a scrap of paper to take home as a memory of the sacrifice and as a poor replacement to growing up with their parent. Or walking along the wall and reading the letters left behind by the loved ones of a fallen officer and reading the pain and loss in their own words as they speak to the one who was taken from them too soon and try to articulate their loss and wishes for a different reality.
The Memorial Wall is not simply a cold archive of forgotten names or a documentary of the 22,611 fallen officers to date that have sacrificed everything to make their community safer. It has grown to be so much more. It is a place to honor those sacrifices, to remember those fallen, and for the survivors, it is a place to mourn and connect to the one they have lost in a way that is not possible elsewhere. It is a place of refuge, and oddly, comfort. A place where they can point to and say, “My officer’s sacrifice is not forgotten. Their life mattered. Here is the place I can point to and say they will never be forgotten.”
It is our hope that a Placer County Sheriff’s Office memorial will provide the same comfort, recognition, and opportunities of remembrance that the National memorial has provided in Washington DC.
It is vital to remember the sacrifices it takes to make a community safe and to remember our fallen. The nine peace officers that sacrificed everything for their community of Placer County deserve this remembrance. The ones they left behind deserve it more. A place where their names are on a memorial that our community can look upon and respect, remember, and honor those sacrifices.
Detective Mike Davis
Reserve Deputy Timothy A. Ruggles
Deputy James E. Machado
Deputy Arden Webster
Deputy Richard Alfred Sheppard
Deputy Charles Carter
Sheriff William Elam
Deputy Frank H. Dependener
Deputy George W. Martin
“Someday soon, perhaps in forty years, there will be no one alive who has ever known me. That's when I will be truly dead - when I exist in no one's memory. I thought a lot about how someone very old is the last living individual to have known some person or cluster of people. When that person dies, the whole cluster dies, too, vanishes from the living memory. I wonder who that person will be for me. Whose death will make me truly dead?” ― Irvin D. Yalom
"Do you not know that a man is not dead as long as his name is still spoken?" - Terry Pratchett
Support the Campaign! Donate Now!
Special Individual Donors will be memorialized on specific donation level plaques inside the Placer County Sheriffs Office Rotunda at 2929 Richardson Drive in Auburn.
Plaque Levels of Sponsorship include:
Platinum at 25K,
Gold at 15K,
Silver at 10K and
Bronze at 5K.
All donations are welcome and we will be exploring other ways to honor and thank businesses and community members who help us fund this honorable cause.
For Special Individual Donors, please contact the Sheriffs Council via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
We will contact you directly to discuss how to donate and collect your information.
For General Donors, please feel free to use the donate link above or below if you want to use PayPal, Credit Card, etc.
If you would like to donate by check, please send your check to:
Placer County Sheriffs Council,
P.O. Box 2743,
Granite Bay, CA 95746.
Please note in the 'Memo' section that this is for the 'Monument Campaign'.