San Jose renews effort to honor fallen police officers

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San Jose city officials say it will take a public fundraising effort to help bridge the gap to build a memorial for officers killed in the line of duty. (www.sjpd.org/InsideSJPD/Fallen/)

A new effort to honor fallen officers is underway in San Jose. It's not the first time someone has tried to build a memorial for officers killed in the line of duty. But this time they may actually succeed.

City Hall is the possible site for San Jose's End of Watch Memorial. It would honor the 12 officers killed in the line of duty over the 166-year history of the San Jose Police Department.

The death of Officer Michael Johnson in March, as he responded to a call of a man threatening to kill himself, remains fresh on the minds of city leaders and the public.

PHOTOS: Procession and memorial service for Officer Michael Johnson


"We recognize this is an opportunity for folks to come together after what has been a very difficult year, we know, and I think in a way that certainly can honor and pay tribute to those who sacrifice at the same time can honor the community coming together," said Mayor Sam Liccardo.

A council committee on Wednesday directed the city manager to start working on a design and a budget. The projected cost is $180,000. The mayor has contributed $75,000 from his own budget. Council members are expected to chip in, too. But it will take a pubic fundraising campaign to close the gap. And that was a problem when the city tried to create an officer memorial twice before.

RAW VIDEO: Dignitaries, family speak at memorial for fallen officer

San Jose has two downtown memorials for veterans.

"If we're going to have a memorial for our veterans who basically have given their lives to our country, I think that should be accountable for us citizens of the Bay Area to do the same for our officers that keep us safe," said San Jose resident Victor Disilvo.


The mayor is hoping the memorial will be designed by a local artist and be ready in about a year.

"If someone devotes their life to public service and ultimately gives their life, I think that's the definition of somebody who should be memorialized and honored by the community," said Councilwoman Rose Herrera.
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