Officers Get a Chance to Honor ‘Fallen Brethren’ Through New Stockton Memorial

STOCKTON -- A granite memorial in front of the Stockton Police Department honors San Joaquin County's fallen officers.

"This is just a quick list of all of the names that should be on that wall that are not and we do not have the room to add it to that," said Kristina Pendergrass, San Joaquin County Fallen Peace Officer Foundation.

There are 19 names of slain officers listed on the memorial, dating back to 1954. There should be an additional 15 officers on that list but there is no room.

It's the reason why the San Joaquin County Fallen Peace Officer Foundation is raising money for a new memorial, which will replace the old one.

"That helps us with the problem we have now," Pendergrass said. "We'll be able to add all of those names, all the ones that, unfortunately, are not on there right now."

The very center of the new memorial will list all of the county's officers and deputies killed in the line of duty.

But a new feature of the memorial, which the old one doesn't have, are bricks that can be purchased through a donation of $250 to the memorial.

There will also be another type of brick added to the memorial.

"We're going to have an area around the memorial, which we're calling 'guardian bricks,' and those are for sale only to current and past law enforcement officers," Pendergrass explained. "And the idea behind that is that they will forever be guarding their fallen brethren."

The guardian bricks will hold a very personal connection to the Pendergrass family. Her father-in-law, Jimmy Pendergrass, was struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver as he was walking to work at the police station on Dec. 23, 2014.

Jimmy Pendergrass had served as an officer with the Stockton Police Department for more than 30 years, assigned to the motors and K-9 patrols. After retiring, he returned to the department as a background investigator, which he did for another 15 years before he was killed.

His name will be etched on one of the guardian bricks.

Jimmy Pendergrass is also the father of Kristina's husband, Brian, who is a sergeant with the Stockton Police Department.

"Knowing that my kids will be able to bring their kids and say, 'There's your grandpa. There's my opa on there.' And that's there forever," Kristina Pendergrass said.

To make a donation or purchase a brick contact Mark McLaughlin, San Joaquin County Fallen Peace Officer Foundation's president, at stkncop@gmail.com or Kristina Pendergrass, the foundation's secretary, at Kristinapendergrass@yahoo.com.

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