Santa Paula Police is recognizing National Peace Officers Memorial Day with a rededication of the law enforcement and community created monument located within Railroad Plaza Park, just west of the Depot.

SPPD Memorial: Benches to be dedicated to Bartlett, Hemminger Saturday

May 11, 2016
Santa Paula News

Santa Paula Police is recognizing National Peace Officers Memorial Day with a rededication of the law enforcement and community created monument located within Railroad Plaza Park, just west of the Depot.

The ceremony will be held Saturday, May 14, 10 a.m. at the memorial, located on East Santa Barbara Street.

The 10 foot tall monument was dedicated in May 2011, an obelisk memorializing City Marshal Henry Norman, who died in a shootout on East Main Street in 1913, and Officer James Barmore, who died in a traffic accident in 1953 on Ojai Road while riding his motorcycle enroute to a call.

The program will include former Police Chief Walt Adair and Tim Barmore, the son of the late officer who will be the featured speaker. 

According to SPPD Reserve Lt. Brad Tallent, he and retired SPPD Lt. Carlos Juarez “formed a small committee” to upgrade the monument with new or updated bricks, as well as benches in honor of two SPPD Officers who died in separate 2012 off-duty traffic accidents, Reserve Officer David Bartlett and SPPD Officer Kimberly Hemminger.  

“When we first dedicated the memorial it was to two officers that had fallen in the line of duty, and now we have our two officers that died in tragic accidents,” that warrant recognition other than on the obelisk itself. 

Juarez said fundraising would continue to the end of May for those who would like to purchase ($125.00 each) an engraved brick or update ($50) an existing brick. Donations are being accepted on an ongoing basis. All donations are tax deductible.

Juarez is also hoping to have streets named in Norman and Barmore’s honor or even a public safety building in the new Harvest at Limoneira development.

“We owe at least that to these two officers,” he noted.

Those who qualify for a brick has been expanded: originally it was for uniformed and non-uniformed SPPD employees only who worked at the department for at least one year and left in good standing.

Now the opportunity has been extended to members of Citizens Patrol, Explorers and SPPD Crossing Guards and other volunteers that have served at least one-year.

“That includes volunteer clerical staff as well…it’s important that everyone that serves a function, even volunteers, are recognized. The department can’t function without volunteers.” 

And supporters: “Our goal is to get at least 40 more bricks at the monument,” where more room has been made for new bricks as well as the benches with memorial plaques. 

Juarez noted that many past SPPD employees have not yet been honored with a brick, which can be purchased by anyone whether the former employee/volunteer, their family or especially in the case of those long gone with no survivors, even a stranger. 

“There is a lot of past personnel not represented and we hope to have them or their families purchase one to mark their service…”

One of the $1,500 benches has been sponsored and money is still being raised for the second bench. Both Bartlett and Hemminger were well-liked members of the SPPD who died tragically young in the accidents that took their life in February 2012 and July 2012 respectively. Each dedicated bench will include a bronze plaque. 

“We’re replacing several bricks and our goal is to get at least 40 new ones, we’ve got 20 so far,” said Juarez.

“We’ve reached out to some of our past officers that are now out of the area that weren’t even aware that the monument had been created,” but now want to be included in the memorial. 

General donations are also being received: “We’ve had some pretty good ones…we’re hoping with brick sales and donations that come at the end of May,” enough will be received to keep in the maintenance fund.

“We take care of the monument, the flags and flagpoles, lights, bricks and we’ll take care of the benches…the basic maintenance of the park is a city function but we do everything other than that.”

Barmore and Norman are honored, along with numerous other fallen law enforcement officers from throughout Ventura County, on a monument at the Ventura County Government Center. There is a state monument in Sacramento and a national monument in Washington, D.C.  Other cities — including those in Ventura County — have separate memorials to their fallen officers.

The Santa Paula Police & Fire Foundation acts as the fiscal agent for the memorial, first built at a cost of about $30,000.

Donations can be sent in care of the Santa Paula Police & Fire Foundation (or to SPP&FF), PO Box 162, Santa Paula, CA 93061-0162. Please put Memorial on the memo line.

For more information call 805-290-5525 or email K9marlo@aol.com





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