Eighteen families of 33 San Diego Police officers killed in the line of duty were honored Thursday morning at an event outside San Diego Police headquarters.
The family of Officer Jonathan “JD” De Guzman who was killed in the line of duty on July 28, 2016, was among those 18 families awarded with a Police Cross to honor their loved one’s sacrifice.
The department also presented the name of Officer De Guzman etched into a memorial shrine that stands outside of department headquarters.
“There’s no words to say what this means to me,” Tina Call, the daughter of an SDPD officer killed in 1970, said. “It shows that the police department is not just saying that they back the fallen officers, they’re not saying that they support us, they’re showing us in a permanent way. There are no words for that. It’s an amazing feeling.”
Call's father, Officer James Lewis, was killed in 1970 when she was just two years old. Although she doesn’t remember her father, she feels ever-present pain, and says the emotional wound of losing a loved one in the line of duty is reopened every time another officer loses their life.
“It never goes away,” Call said. “It’s been 46 years and I still cry. And as I said, I see officers being killed all around the country. It affects me. It never goes away. I wish I had known my father, but I am very, very proud to have lost him in the way that I did. I couldn’t have asked for a better way to lose him. I know he did good.”
Call added that SDPD Chief Shelley Zimmerman has helped her feel a renewed sense of brotherhood on her father’s behalf, and call's the Police Cross "priceless" for herself and the other families.
Mayor Kevin Faulconer spoke at the ceremony, calling police officers “some of the finest men and women in our city,” and said that San Diego isn’t one of the nation’s safest big cities by accident.