Hundreds pay tribute to fallen CHP officer at Vacaville memorial service

ByCarlos Saucedo via KGO logo
Friday, August 17, 2018
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Hundreds of fellow officers paid tribute to one of their own killed in the line of duty.

VACAVILLE, Calif. (KGO) -- Hundreds of fellow officers paid tribute to one of their own killed in the line of duty. A memorial service was held for fallen CHP officer Kirk Griess Friday afternoon.

VIDEOS: Fallen CHP officer honored at Vacaville memorial by family, friends

The 19-year CHP veteran was killed a week ago while conducting a traffic stop near Fairfield.

The 46-year-old leaves behind a wife and three children.

The CHP credit union has set up a fund for Griess' family.

A large procession of family and officers escorted the hearse through Vacaville to and from the memorial.

The Father's House church was filled to capacity as colleagues shared fond memories of fallen CHP officer Kirk Griess -- known to many as "Hollywood."

"When he took off his helmet, you couldn't tell that he'd be wearing a helmet, his hair was still perfect," recalled CHP Cpt. Mark Headrick.

Those dapper good looks combined with Griess' big heart made him a lovable guy. "You have that light in the office, you have that officer who's just so positive, that always has something to bring you up and cheer you up," said fellow CHP officer Custodio Lopez.

The former U.S. Marine turned CHP officer reflected Griess' commitment to serve.

One of his daughters is following in his footsteps as she's about to finish the police academy.

RELATED: Man accused in deadly I-80 crash in Fairfield posts bail

"Now that I have 29 days until I graduate, I know I need to stay strong. If he were here, he would be holding my face and be telling me to finish," said daughter Kadi Griess.

Griess' CHP badge was presented to his wife during the service.

Griess was killed while conducting a traffic stop near Fairfield a week ago. A civilian was also killed in that crash. Investigators say the suspect was driving recklessly and was distracted by his phone.

It's a tragic loss the family hopes turns to a teachable moment.

RELATED: Police say driver in crash that killed CHP officer, motorist in Fairfield was on phone

"To Kirk's parents, Sheldon and Helen, they asked me this morning to send a strong message to the community about the dangers of distracted driving. It's coming," said CHP Chief Ernie Sanchez.

One of the more lighthearted moments occurred when Stormtroopers took the stage - Griess' favorite movie character -- "The Force" now with him as he was escorted to his final resting place.