Photo Credit: Pete R. Placencia

The Oxnard Police Department held its 24th annual memorial ceremony in honor of the seven Oxnard police officers who have been killed in the line of duty over the last 117 years on Wednesday, May 17.

Closing off C Street between 3rd and 4th Streets in downtown Oxnard, the ceremony included the posting of colors by the Oxnard Police Honor Guard, a roll call of the fallen officers a rendition of “Amazing Grace”, a twenty-one gun salute by the Oxnard Police Rifle Team, and the playing of taps.

Police Chief Jason Benites provided the introductions and comments. In his presentation, he stated that “each year during this time our nation celebrates National Police Week, for the purpose of honoring the service and sacrifices of our police officers.”

The Oxnard Police Department holds its annual ceremony “to remember and honor and to show respect for our seven fallen officers.”

These officers include:

  • Constable William E. Kelley, end of watch August 20, 1921
  • Officer Albert Gasperetti, end of watch April 15, 1956
  • Officer Frederick J. Clark, end of watch October 12, 1971
  • Senior Officer John A. Adair, end of watch October 7, 1980
  • Officer James E. O’Brien, end of watch December 2, 1993
  • Officer James R. Jensen, Jr., end of watch March 13, 1996

The impact of these deaths was noted by Benites and fellow family members of the fallen officers who come annually for this ceremony.

“We also come together to support the brokenhearted, our surviving family members and friends,” said Benites, “As a community, this is our responsibility.”

It was reported that more names were added to the California Peace Officers Memorial in Sacramento, a memorial which includes over 1,612 California police officers killed in the line of duty.

While the ceremony was solemn in honor of police officers who gave their lives in the line of duty, the chief insisted that the annual remembrance was a necessary show of community support. He also pointed out that police officers in Oxnard put their lives on the line daily.