Graduating members from the Rio Hondo Police Academy Class #201 held a Pride Run in Alhambra on Thursday morning. Members of the Alhambra Police Department joined the event to honor late officer Ryan Stringer, a Rio Hondo Police Academy alum, who died in an on-duty traffic accident in 2011.
Organizers initialized the Pride Run at the Officer Ryan Stringer Memorial Bench at Alhambra Park around 9:00am. Participants then traversed through the city, and stopped for a moment of silence at the intersection of Garfield and Main Street, before returning to Alhambra Park at 9:30am. The intersection was the site of the 2011 accident.
Stringer’s parents attended the event and delivered speeches after the run. They addressed traffic safety regarding on-duty police officers. “Most officers died in auto-mobile accidents, not from gun shots. If you died out there, your loved ones suffer,” said Sonny Stringer, Ryan's father. “You are going to join the department, not only you are a part of the department, but your family will be a part of the department”.
According to the 2015 Mid-Year Officer Fatality Report from The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, a non-profit organization headquartered in Washington D.C., traffic-related incidents were the leading cause of officer fatalities for the third year in a row. “It makes you stop and really think. You need to be careful and safe. It’s tragic what happened, but we are going to take that as a learning lesson,” said Ian Bridges, Class #201 President of Rio Hondo Police Academy.
The Pride Run is a tradition organized by each police academy class before graduation to promote camaraderie among students. It's also an opportunity for the class to recognize and honor a person from the police academy who left a lasting impression.