Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station deputies took part in a countywide relay over the weekend to honor the department’s officers who’ve made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty.
The local leg of the run, which circumnavigates the Sheriff’s Department’s stations, came to station officials from deputies with the North County Correctional Facility.
At around 9 p.m. Saturday, station Capt. Justin Diez gave a speech at the Deputy Jake Kuredjian memorial to recognize the importance of honoring fallen deputies.
Then the relay, which is led by a traditional LASD patrol car adorned with the names of all fallen officers in L.A. County, headed to Soledad Canyon Road and Sierra Highway, where it passed the baton, so to speak, to the Lancaster Sheriff’s station.
Those deputies carried the torch back down to the Palmdale station to complete the circuit, according to Deputy Natalie Arriaga, spokeswoman for the Sheriff’s Station.
The run takes place every year in conjunction with Peace Officers Memorial Day, Arriaga added, which is May 15 every year during Police Week.
“It’s just a way to show support for our fallen officers — to show them that we still remember them, we pay tribute to them and we appreciate the ultimate sacrifice that they made in serving their nation and their community,” Arriaga said.
The SCV route included a number of deputies who ran various legs of the 25-mile local stretch for the countywide relay, she added, in a tradition that stretches back to 1975.
In the Santa Clarita Valley, there are five law enforcement officers who are listed on the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial wall in Washington, D.C., Arriaga noted in an email Monday.
The county officers cited as killed in the line of duty were:
Deputy Constable Edward Brown died in 1924, after he was shot when responding to a report of someone making death threats while he was policing what was then known as Soledad Township.
Deputy Arthur Pelino was the resident deputy for Gorman in 1978, when he was booking a mentally deranged suspect who managed to get Pelino’s gun and fatally shoot him.
Deputy Jake Kuredjian was one of the first officers on scene to back up the U.S. Marshals Service, who were trying to take a heavily armed man into custody. The suspect, a former officer, shot Kuredjian with an automatic rifle before dying in a firefight with officials.
Deputy Rand Hamson was struck by a car while helping motorists on Sierra Highway in 2004. He died four years later in medical care from injuries he sustained in the incident.
Deputy Pedro “Pete” Romo was added to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial this year in Washington D.C. after passing away due to complications from COVID-19, Arriaga said.