It seemed like an odd place to gather, but friends and loved ones of Galt K9 Officer Kevin Tonn came to the spot where he was gunned down by a burglary suspect five years ago to the day. After a moment of silence at the very minute he died, an end of watch message from the police dispatcher was sent out on the radio.
A cross marked the spot next to the railroad tracks where he fell. His killer committed suicide shortly after Tonn was shot.
He was 35 when he was killed and had been with the Galt Police Department for just over three years, a short time to make such an impact.
Tonn’s memory was still fresh to those who came pay tribute and the gathering was a comfort for his parents, who live in Lincoln.
“After your worst nightmare happens, that’s the fear that the officer will be forgotten," said his mother Maryann Tonn.
At the city’s fallen heroes memorial, named in his honor, a more formal ceremony was held, which included Kevin Tonn’s retired K9 partner. The ceremony was an important reminder of the dangers of the job, but it was important for another reason too.
“You have officers here that were working with him and they’re still grieving to this day, and they don’t know how to express those emotions," said Galt Police Chief Tod Sockman. "So, this is just one way to help them with some of the closure."
“Kevin was an amazing officer and an amazing person," said Mayor Lori Huerer.
Kevin Tonn's dedication went beyond fighting crime and protecting people, he worked to enhance their lives as well.
His Special Olympics team members from Elk Grove won’t forget him.
“Kevin jumped in with both feet and a whole heart and worked tirelessly to raise funds, and made some really special friendships along the way," said Christa Trencher from the Elk Grove Special Olympics team.
Part of the training for new police officers in Galt is a review of the history of Kevin Tonn and his contribution to the department. So, his memory is likely to live on for foreseeable future.