In 1962 President John F. Kennedy signed Public Law 87-726 designating May 15 as Peace Officers’ Memorial Day, and the week in which May 15 falls as National Police Week. While the actual dates change from year to year, National Police Week is always the calendar week, beginning on Sunday, which includes May 15.
The State of California has been conducting Peace Officers’ Memorial Ceremonies at the State Capitol since 1977. This ceremony honors the officers who have fallen in the line-of-duty the preceding year. On May 13, 1988 Governor George Deukmejian unveiled the newly dedicated California Peace Officers’ Memorial Monument, the location of all subsequent Memorial Ceremonies.
At the Tulare County Peace Officer Memorial Ceremony in May of 2000, Sheriff Bill Wittman made a commitment to build a permanent Peace Officer Memorial Monument. This Monument honors the memory of the Peace Officers from law enforcement agencies in Tulare County who were killed in the line-of-duty. The Tulare County Board of Supervisors dedicated the park setting at the corner of Burrel and Woodland in Visalia as Tulare County Peace Officer Memorial Park on May 16, 2001. With the hard work of the Memorial Committee members and the generous contributions of many dedicated Tulare County citizen’s a vision and commitment has been fulfilled.
The Memorial is made from two types of granite. The head piece outlines the shape of Tulare County and is mounted on a pyramid base. Etched on the face are two badges with mourning bands. The star represents the Sheriff’s Department and the shield represents all other law enforcement agencies in Tulare County. The names of our fallen heroes are forever etched in the tiered granite base as well as in our hearts.