Although ceremonies across the country have been cancelled, three fallen California peace officers were remembered on Friday, including Officer Natalie Corona, of Arbuckle, Davis Police Department, Officer Tara O’Sullivan, Sacramento Police Department, and Deputy Brian Ishmael, El Dorado County Sheriff’s Department.
“We are deeply grateful for these men and women who protect us all,” said U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott, for the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California. “The U.S. Attorney’s Office expresses our sincere condolences to these officers and their families as we honor their memory.”
A proclamation President John F. Kennedy signed in 1962 marked May 15 as Peace Officers Memorial Day. The COVID-19 pandemic was cited as a reason to cancel the 2020 ceremony at the California Peace Officers’ Memorial in Sacramento. The solution for continuing the state capitol’s 24 year tradition: a virtual candlelight vigil.
Next year’s ceremony will include adding the names of fallen officers from 2019 and 2020. The year is not even half over, yet 72 officers nationwide have paid the ultimate price; four of them from California.
Although a solemn salute is given to those who gave the ultimate sacrifice nationwide, in Sacramento, and many surrounding counties, there is no formal proclamation declared by Colusa County to this day.
Our local heroes in blue are:
Police Officer Natalie Becky Corona, 22, served the Davis Police Department for five months including volunteering prior to competing field training. On Thursday, January 10, 2019, Corona was shot while investigating a traffic incident. She left behind her parents and three sisters.
Deputy Sheriff Michael Wayne McClung, 23, served with the Colusa County Sheriff’s Department for an unknown length of time. On Monday, July 2, 1984, McClung was killed when his patrol car was struck by a train. He left behind his wife, 8 month old son, and parents.
Game Warden Leon H. Nelson, 36, served the California Department of Fish and Wildlife for nine years. On Saturday, October 27, 1979, Nelson died from an automobile crash while on patrol. He left behind his wife and four children.
Town Marshal Jasper Newton Scroggins, 60, served the Colusa Police Department for 27 years. On Saturday, April 19, 1919, Scroggins was shot while investigating an incident. He left behind his wife and two grown children.
Town Marshal John T. Arnold, 30, served the Colusa Police Department for 10 years. On Monday, March 4, 1878, Arnold was shot while serving a warrant. He left behind his wife and two children.
Deputy John A. McClain, 38, served the Colusa County Sheriff’s Department for 10 years. On Saturday, September 17, 1870, McClain was shot when serving court papers. He left behind his wife and four children.
Despite the lack of tribute services, Scott urged Californians to take a moment to stop and remember the peace officers who gave their lives this past year, making the ultimate sacrifice while protecting our communities.