‘Celebrate everyday heroes:’ City Heights community honors fallen SDPD detectives

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SAN DIEGO – City Heights community members honored two fallen San Diego Police Department detectives Tuesday evening at their “Light Our Way” event, meant to honor local leaders and students after the pandemic year.

“They are there for us and we in return want to show respect that we are there for them also,” said Maria Cortez, City Heights community activist.

Community members hoped to bring some light to dark times after not only the tough pandemic year, but also after the fatal wrong-way crash last Friday that claimed the lives of Detective Ryan Park and Detective Jamie Huntley-Park.

“Recognize the leaders, recognize the youth because the youth is our future, but when we heard about what happened with the police department, we thought ‘what a horrible thing to happen,’” said Cortez.

Students from nearby high schools also joined the event to celebrate recent graduates and show respect for our police force. Attendees wore green to symbolize hope and new beginnings.

“Celebrate everyday heroes such as the people who have served in our community; and today we want to express our sorrow for fallen SDPD detectives, their service will never be forgotten to us,” said Hoover High School Student Chris Acolt.

Earlier in the day the police department led a procession for the detectives, guiding their caskets to the mortuary preparing them for their funeral service. That service is scheduled for next Tuesday, but it is to be determined if it will be open to the public.

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