DATE: February 28, 2006
TO: Board of Supervisors
SUBJECT: REMEMBERING OUR FALLEN HEROES – DESIGNATING THE COUNTY ADMINISTRATION CENTER AS THE LOCATION FOR THE REGIONAL LAW ENFORCEMENT MEMORIAL
Here in San Diego County we have unfortunately seen many of our local law enforcement personnel killed in the line of duty. We must never forget the sacrifices made by brave law enforcement officers. To honor these fallen heroes a collection of public safety organizations, spearheaded by the Deputy Sheriffs’ Association is working to establish the first San Diego Regional Law Enforcement Memorial. In 2005, the Board of Supervisors led by Vice-Chairman Roberts and Supervisor Cox allocated $100,000 for the design and development of this project.
Requested action today would designate a portion of the southwest lawn of the County Administration Center as the location of the Memorial. Minimum design criteria and a development and approval process will be established to ensure historical consistency with the County Administration Center. Additionally, the design criteria will also preserve the historic view corridor of the County Administration Center and the planned Waterfront Park. Additionally, the Chief Administrative Officer would be directed to assist the Deputy Sheriffs’ Association and the Memorial design committee and to establish a Memorandum of Understanding for the maintenance and operation of the Memorial. Finally, the Chief Administrative Officer would be authorized to apply for and accept grant funding for the Memorial.
VICE-CHAIRMAN ROBERTS AND SUPERVISOR COX:
- Designate the footprint of the sago palm trees on the southwest lawn of the County Administration Center, as shown in Attachment A, as the location of the San Diego Regional Law Enforcement Memorial.
- Establish minimum design criteria for the San Diego Regional Law Enforcement Memorial as set forth in Attachment B.
- Direct the Chief Administrative Officer with the assistance of the Clerk of the Board of Supervisors to work with the Deputy Sheriffs’ Association and the Memorial design committee to implement the adopted design guidelines and return to the Board of Supervisors for approval of the final design and to authorize the installation of the memorial.
- Direct the Chief Administrative Officer with the assistance of the Clerk of the Board of Supervisors to develop and enter into a Memorandum of Understanding with the San Diego County Deputy Sheriffs’ Association for the maintenance and operation of the Memorial and return to the Board of Supervisors for approval of the Memorandum of Understanding prior to installation of the Memorial.
- Authorize the Chief Administrative Officer to apply for any available United States Department of Justice grant funding for the Memorial.
There is no fiscal impact related to this request.
On average, one law enforcement officer is killed somewhere in America every 53 hours. Since the first recorded law enforcement death in 1792 America has paid a hefty price to keep our streets safe with more than 17,000 law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty. In California alone, more than 1,350 officers have given their lives to protect our communities, more than any other state.
San Diego County has seen many of our local law enforcement personnel killed in the line of duty. Each year, in May, families, friends, fellow officers and citizens gather for a Peace Officers’ Memorial Service to honor the memory of local fallen officers in the region and to commemorate National Police Week. Unfortunately, San Diego County is lacking a single, unified location where all of our local law enforcement agencies and citizens can join together in remembrance.
On July 23, 2002 the Board of Supervisors, on the recommendation of Vice-Chairman Roberts and Supervisor Cox, directed the Chief Administrative Officer to explore the feasibility of including a permanent tribute to law enforcement and public safety officers in the County Administration Center Master Plan for the Waterfront Park. Subsequently, in 2005 Roberts and Cox each allocated $50,000 in community projects funding for the development of the Regional Law Enforcement Memorial. The combined $100,000 financial commitment from the Board of Supervisors has enabled this project to begin the design process. Under the leadership of Deputy Sheriffs’ Association President James Duffy, Jr., an all-inclusive public safety committee is being formed to design and develop what will become the County’s first regional law enforcement memorial.
A critical step in making the Memorial a reality is today’s recommendations. Today’s action would designate the location of the Memorial on the County Administration Center’s southwest lawn, a site that is centrally located while also a contemplative and reflective location. Such a place of honor for those who have made the ultimate sacrifice of their lives in service to the public will make an excellent addition to the planned Waterfront Park. Further, minimum design criteria would be created to protect the view corridors and the historic nature of the County Administration Center. The design committee must utilize this framework in order to place the Memorial on the County Administration Center grounds. Additionally, today’s recommendations would authorize the Chief Administrative Officer to assist the design committee in its efforts and present the final design and a maintenance and operation Memorandum of Understanding to the Board of Supervisors for final approval.
Additional funding for the Regional Law Enforcement Memorial may be available through the United States Department of Justice’s Law Enforcement Tribute Act grant program. The purpose of the Law Enforcement Tribute Act is to provide one-time grants to help eligible jurisdictions complete permanent tributes to honor the men and women in the public safety profession who have been killed or disabled in the line of duty. The Law Enforcement Tribute Act allows the federal government to match any local or state funding up to $150,000. San Diego County has already allocated $100,000 for this project allowing for a maximum federal grant match of an additional $100,000. Grants may not be used by jurisdictions that have completed a permanent tribute at the time of the award, and they cannot be used for land purchases or construction costs. Funding for the Law Enforcement Tribute Act was made available in Fiscal Year 2006 and legislation is currently pending to authorize the Act for Fiscal Year 2007.
The citizens of San Diego County owe a debt to those who have given their lives and the creation and location of the Regional Law Enforcement Memorial overlooking the waterfront at the County Administration Center is a tangible and lasting tribute to our fallen officers’ sacrifice.
We urge your support.
Supervisor, Fourth District
Supervisor, First District