Rows of police officers in freshly pressed blue uniforms packed a memorial service for Ryan Embert Stringer, the fourth Alhambra Police officer to die in the line of duty and the first in more than 40 years. Alhambra Police Chief Mark Yokoyama spoke at the ceremony at Calvary Chapel in Diamond Bar about the promising 26-year-old officer who had overcome a life-threatening accident just a year before.
"We have lost one of our modern-day heroes and guardians of society in police officer Ryan Stringer," Yokoyama said. “All Ryan ever wanted to do is to protect and to serve and we can find some solace in the fact, as his father Sonny reminded us, he died doing what he loved.” (Watch a CBS news report of the funderal.)
"Ryan will never be forgotten so let's take one of his many lessons and turn this tragedy into a defining event in our lives," Yokoyama said reports The Pasadena Star News.
While Stringer's devotion to work was commended, his good-natured attitude was also highlighted. Stringers' parents, Debbie and Sonny Stringer, prepared a slideshow that showed him at his graduation, at barbeques, and having fun with his friends. There were also pictures of him skydiving and dressed up as an 80s rocker for Halloween.
State Attorney General Kamala Harris and Pasadena Police Chief Phillip Sanchez were in attendence. Stringer is survived by his parents and his four sisters, Kristen Stringer-Bartel, Kym Genes, Dana Stringer and Donna McCulloch.
Officer Stringer was killed on July 10 when his car collided with another police vehicle when responding to a reported robbery.
The service concluded with a flag folding ceremony and Chief Yokoyama presenting it to Stringer's tearful mother. Then the family left for an outdoor ceremony followed by city officials, friends and hundreds of police officers.
The funeral service will be broadcast live online at Memorial Webcasts. The broadcast will be found under the "schedule" tab.
A memorial fund has been established in Ryan Stringer's name. Donations may be sent to the Ryan Stringer Memorial Fund, care of the Alhambra Police Officers Association, PO Box 7339, Alhambra, California, 91801.
Police Chief Mark Yokoyama announced at Monday's council meeting that there will be a memorial service this Friday for Officer Ryan Stringer who was killed in an accident while on duty Saturday night.
The service will start at 1pm at the Calvalry Chapel Golden Springs, located at 22324 Golden Springs Drive in Diamond Bar. More than 3000 people are expected to attend the public service. Yokoyama said that representatives from across the state have made plans to attend, and that the department has received phone calls from Governor Jerry Brown and Attorney General Kamala Harris, who offered words of condolences.
Yokoyama said that while emotions are running high, the department has stuck with its goal of maintaining the peace. "One of the comments I heard was that, although this tragedy has struck us, the officers are still serving the community because that's what they love doing," Yokoyama said.
A moment of silence was held for Stringer after the flag salute.
"The tragedy affects many of us, and we hope that from this point on, the firefighters and the police force will operate safely," Mayor Gary Yamauchi said as the meeting adjorned.
Stringer, 26, was killed when his car collided with another police vehicle near the intersection of Main Street and Garfield Avenue at approximately 2:30am on Sunday. The officers were responding to a reported robbery on First Street. An officer in the other car, Carlos Mejia, 27, was taken to the hospital and is expected to make a full recovery.
California Highway Patrol investigators want to speak to people who were at the scene. Please call (323) 980-4600.
The memorial service will be a public service at 1pm at Calvary Golden Springs in Diamond Bar. Donations may be sent to the Ryan Stringer Memorial Fund care of the Alhambra Police Officers Association, Post Office Box 7339, Alhambra, Calif. 91801