Riverside officers honor veterans

Remember: Officers honor fallen comrades in a ceremony at the “Safe in his Arms Memorial,” while family members take the mood to heart May 19.

Remember: Officers honor fallen comrades in a ceremony at the “Safe in his Arms Memorial,” while family members take the mood to heart May 19.

Danyel Whyte | Staff writer

May 29, 2014

As an introduction to Memorial Day Weekend, 62 officers were recognized in a commemorative event in Downtown Riverside. Riverside County Peace Officers’ Memorial Foundation hosted “Safe in his arms Memorial” on May 19 to salute law enforcement killed in the line of duty since 1895.

“Two officers were killed since last year,” Kenneth Cardenas of the Riverside Police Department said. “We come together because we are all
like family.”

The event summoned tears from the surrounding audience when rifles fired as a tribute to the fallen officers. Officer Michael Crain from the Riverside Police Department and Sgt. Gilbert Cortez from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation were recognized, with their names added to the “In his Arms” statue on
Orange Street.

“My thoughts are with you and all of your loved ones today,” said Sergio Diaz, Chief of Police.

Officer Crain was a U.S. Marine Corps veteran and had served with the Riverside Police Department for 11 years.

Gilbert Cortez was a state correctional officer assigned to the department’s Norco facility, he was also a former attendee of Riverside City College.

According to Cynthia Tampkins, Warden of CDCR, 66,000 employees are part of the force, but they are referred to as lights.

“Cortez was a special light to CDCR,” Tampkins said, “he was a family man who was proud of his family and loved his wife.”

Riverside has held this memorial for 31 years according to the Peace Ofiicer’s Memorial Foundation and is “dedicated to all Peace Officers who cope with the day to day rigors of their chosen profession, and honoring those within the county of Riverside who gave their lives in the service and protection of your community, lest we forget, our indebtedness to them…”