Norman, Barmore: Dedication Saturday for Santa Paula Police Memorial

May 18, 2011
Santa Paula Police Department

They were killed in the line of duty about 40 years apart, although their End of Watch occurred within a few hundred feet of one another. To continue the coincidence of distance, at Santa Paula Cemetery the final resting place of the two law enforcement officers is also separated by a few hundred feet.

But come Saturday, Marshal Henry “Hugh” Newton Norman and Motorcycle Officer James Edwin Barmore will be almost side-by-side on the Santa Paula Police Memorial. The 10-foot-tall obelisk honoring Norman, fatally shot who passed away November 25, 1913, and Barmore, killed when his motorbike careened out of control in February 7, 1953, will be dedicated Saturday, May 21 at 11 a.m.

Norman was shot during a confrontation with four men and was felled probably just southeast of the corner of Saticoy Street and Ojai Road/Highway 150. Barmore died almost four decades later when his motorcycle slammed into a truck parked on Ojai Road/Highway 150 just north of the Saticoy Street intersection.

The Santa Paula Police Memorial is located between the historic Depot and Gazebo on East Santa Barbara Street just west of 10th Street. The monument also pays tribute to all who serve the community of Santa Paula in law enforcement.

Nils Rueckert served as the chairman of the SPPD Memorial Committee while also representing the Santa Paula Historical Society, of which he is a board director. Lt. Carlos Juarez also wore several hats, as a historical society board director and longtime SPPD officer. Juarez’s two roles combined for historical research and investigating the whereabouts or fates of decades of former SPPD personnel.

Said Police Chief Stephen MacKinnon, “A city memorial has been a long time coming for our community. I am looking forward to the dedication ceremony as we not only honor the two fallen officers, but all those officers and support personnel that have gone before us. I think those attending will find it to be a very moving ceremony.”

The dedication will be a reunion of sorts: not only is Betty Barmore Players - James Barmore’s widow - expected to attend, but so is the late officer’s son, Tim Barmore, who served on the committee that created the memorial.

Also expected are descendents of Norman. In addition, it is expected that hundreds of former SPPD personnel, their families and or friends will also be on hand to honor the fallen officers and view the memorial bricks that line the area near the monument that were used as a fundraising mechanism.

The monument itself will have tributes to each fallen officer and details of their End of Watch. Hopefully the bas-relief renderings of each man will be finished by the dedication ceremony.

Juarez said the memorial project “has given our department the opportunity to acknowledge and honor two law enforcement officers who gave the ultimate sacrifice for the people of Santa Paula.” It also gave Juarez the opportunity to painstakingly track down many of the SPPD’s former employees: of the 300 plus identified he was able to make contact in more than 150 cases.

The dedication ceremony will prove to be “a sight not seen for many years - that of many former police officers, dispatchers and reserve officers as well as police personnel assembled at one place for a common purpose, to recognize and honor who have gone before us.”

Tax-deductible donations can be made and sent to Santa Paula Police & Fire Foundation, P.O. Box 162, Santa Paula, CA 93061-0162. Please note SPPD Memorial on the memo line. For more information, call Juarez at 525-4474 ext. 115.

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