Assemblyman Mike Eng dedicated part of the 10 Freeway Monday morning to fallen police officer Ryan Stringer. Joined by Alhambra City Council and Alhambra Police Department, Eng held a press conference at City Hall to present replicas of the freeway memorial sign to the City and the Stringer family.
Stringer was 26 when he was tragically killed in the line of duty on July 10, 2011. He was responding to a report of a possible robbery in Alhambra when his patrol vehicle collided with that of another officer near the intersection of Main Street and Garfield Avenue. He served with APD for two years.
"Officer Ryan Stringer is an example of a hero. Of exemplary public service. Someone who, at a young age, wanted to serve and protect his community," Eng said during the press conference. "We are here to honor and memorialize the courageous life of Officer Ryan Stringer with the dedication of a memorial sign with his name on it."
Alhambra Mayor Barbara Messina accepted the City's replica and spoke of Ryan's dedication to his work. "Ryan was such a ray of sunshine in our Police Department and for our city," Messina said. "And Ryan exemplified what you want in a public service employee. He did the City proud. And we were very proud and honored to have him with us for two short years."
Also paying tribute was Police Chief Mark Yokoyama, who said that the APD has begun to take action in preventing future law enforcement tragedies in honor of Stringer. Yokoyama and the APD have joined the national Below 100 movement, which aims to reduce law enforcement line-of-duty deaths to below 100 a year. "We're focusing on things, very simple things, that we can do as a police department, as a police profession, to get to that goal. Things such as wearing our vests, watching our speed, and wearing our seat belts," Chief Yokoyama said. "As we pass the 10 Freeway each and every day, we're going to remember Ryan's initiative."
Stringer's father Sonny told the crowd about the numerous memorial services that have been held for Ryan around the country, including a ceremony with California police chiefs in Sacramento, the addition of Ryan's name at the National Memorial in Washington, D.C., and a new bench and tree in Alhambra Park. "This has been a journey. The arms of law enforcement reached a long ways out and they've taken us all in," Sonny said. "The Stringer family would like to say this from the bottom of our hearts, thank you all…We never would have made it without all these guys holding our hands, putting their arms around our shoulders, letting us cry on their shoulders. You've been there every step of the way as we move forward."
"Ryan Stringer," he added, "we love you, we miss you dearly, you will never be forgotten."
The freeway signs will be installed September 19-21. The total cost of the signs and installation was paid for by the Alhambra Police Officers Association. The sign on the eastbound 10 Freeway will be located on the right shoulder east of Garfield Avenue, while the sign on the westbound 10 Freeway will be on the right shoulder west of Atlantic Boulevard.