CATHEDRAL CITY, Calif. - The Cathedral City Police Department is celebrating 30 years in the community this week. Saturday they honored their past, and invited the community to be a part of their future.
"The men and women of the Cathedral City Police Department are there for them everyday, day in and day out," said Chief Kevin Conner.
The unveiling of a fallen officer memorial marked a major milestone the department's history.
"May their bravery inspire all of us to do right in the face of adversity and live our lives in a way befitting their sacrifice on our behalf," said State Assemblyman Manuel Perez.
In 1984, just a few year after Cathedral City was founded, brave men and women started what is now the Cathedral City Police Department. Officer David Vasquez was one of them.
"He was born and raised in Orange County and he left Orange County to come here to Cathedral City and start a new police department, a new life. It's fitting to have his name here because this is what he lived for," said Vasquez's sister Roberta Martinez.
Vasquez died in the line of duty after four years on the job. In 2011, Officer Jermaine Gibson also gave his life while protecting the community.
"This means so much to me today, I want to thank the Cathedral City Police Department honoring my son Jermaine Gibson, he was a great person, a great officer and we really really miss him a lot," said Gibson's father Larry Joseph.
These permanent plaques will serve as a reminder, this department not only serves the community but it's part of it as well.
"It's vital, I think we've learned historically that the police officers can't do it alone," said Conner. "We found that it's only through the partnership with ourselves and our communities and it's truly the community members that really help us solve crime and make our community a safer place to live."
That's why the department opened its doors, offering tours, up close looks at police cars, even a chance to dunk an officer.
"When you open up the police department you are sharing with the community our environment letting them know that this is a safe place to come, we love the interaction, we love to show you what we have, and what we do," said Conner.
The new memorial wall is located on the south wall of the police department entry door right next to City Hall.