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Fallen Riverside officers honored with memorial created by community

March 22, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
The families of fallen officers and members of the Riverside Police Department gathered to unveil a new memorial Friday.

It comes as the department continues to mourn the loss of Officer Michael Crain, who was killed by former LAPD Officer Chris Dorner.

"This was one more example of the kind of support and outpouring of feeling from our public, in support of our officers especially those who've made the ultimate sacrifice," said Riverside Police Chief Sergio Diaz.

Officer Crain's family attended the ceremony. His wife Regina says events like these help keep her busy and deal with her unimaginable loss.

"There are certain times that I just feel like I need to see a uniform," she said. "I just need to see it. So when I come around these guys, whether they are in uniform or not, but to see them makes me feel more at home."

The memorial is a gift from the community to the department. Steven Koch and Tom Rese came up with the idea last October as a show of support and appreciation.

"This is our way of saying thank you to them," said Koch.

The display includes a SWAT helmet mounted on a rifle. It also incorporates a thin blue line down the rifle's barrel in tribute to the fallen police officers.

"We think about them on a daily basis and we really appreciate what they do for us," said Reese.

While the memorial will be on public display at the Magnolia Avenue station, one family member says it's even more important for the officers who see it every day.

"I think everybody should be privileged to see this it's a great honor and tribute to all the guys," said Joe Bonamino, father of Officer Ryan Bonaminio.

It's a solemn tribute to the officers who are gone, but not forgotten by a grateful community.

"It makes me proud to see that the community still remembers what my father and other officers have gone through, you know, given their all dying for the community," said Det. Steven Christiansen, son of Officer Leonard Christiansen.


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