OCEANSIDE — On July 17 an Honor Our Police Day concert and gathering was held at Heritage Park. Police Chief Frank McCoy described the day as a mix of sadness and happiness, following the morning’s fatal shooting of three police officers in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Sadness was expressed for the fallen officers killed that day, and the five officers killed a week earlier in a shooting in Dallas, Texas.
Gratitude was also shared by police for the community honor, and by residents for the daily job police do.
Ceremonies opened with bagpipe music, the National Anthem and ballads sung by Taylor Tickner.
An award, sponsored by The Friends of Oceanside Parks, was given to Oceanside Police Department members to thank them for their service.
Mayor Jim Wood, Councilman Jack Feller, Councilwoman Esther Sanchez, City Manager Michelle Skaggs Lawrence, McCoy and about a dozen officers took part in the award ceremony.
Wood thanked Oceanside police, and expressed his grief over the shootings. Lawrence also shared her appreciation for city police and firefighters.
Afterward there was more entertainment, a police K-9 demonstration and an opportunity for spectators to check out the police armored bobcat vehicle.
Kids lined up to sit in the bobcat lookout seat and try on a 15-pound police vest, minus the 25 pound bulletproof plates.
Brothers Ayden Sellers, 6, and Jaycob Sellers, 4, of Oceanside, were among those who who took a look.
Their mom said the boys want to be police officers.
Genevieve Wunder, Friends of Oceanside Parks board member, said the timing of the event was apropos. She added the event was planned in January to thank all police for what they do to protect us every day.
A community thank you was also held on July 13 outside the police station. Wunder said Friends of Oceanside Parks hope to continue Honor Our Police Day as an annual event.
The group also plans to hold an Honor Our Firefighters Day in November.