ELK GROVE, Calif. (KTXL) — Nearly two weeks have passed since a Galt police officer died in the hospital following a head-on collision.
Galt Police Officer Harminder Grewal was on his way to El Dorado County to help with the Caldor Fire when he was killed in the crash.
Grewal’s colleagues are preparing to give him a final farewell during his funeral service next week.
Ahead of that somber send-off, volunteers with the End of Watch Fund in Elk Grove want to make sure all first responders in attendance have what they need.
“Law enforcement is a family. It’s a brotherhood, so even an officer that you don’t know, you still feel the impact of it,” explained Casey Robinson, president of the End of Watch Fund. “That’s why these funerals are such a big deal. People come from across the country to attend them to show their support, because of how strong that bond is between law enforcement officers.”
Snack bags will be given to those members of law enforcement from all over the country who plan to attend the funeral.
Inside the bags are bottles of water, snacks and hand-written cards with words of encouragement from student volunteers.
“Mine says ‘thank you for your service. Thank you for protecting me,’” said 11-year-old volunteer Leilani Garcia.
“It’s an emotionally draining day, a difficult day, to attend a funeral, so just knowing that the community is behind you goes a long way,” Robinson said.
“Just that there’s an appreciation and awareness of what they do every day. It makes me want to cry. They start their day not knowing how that’s going to unfold because so many of their calls and interactions can turn so quickly,” said volunteer Michelle Dowell.
The gesture is to remind law enforcement officials that when they’re putting their lives on the line, there’s a community behind them saying “Thank you.”
“Cops don’t always feel the love. They’re out there in the middle of the chaos oftentimes and it’s easy to feel like you’re not appreciated, so that’s the message by the snack bag project. We want them to know that they’re supported,” Robinson said.
A full-honors funeral service will be held for Grewal on Monday morning at the Bayside Church Adventure Campus in Roseville.
Members of the community are invited to show support by lining up along the procession route.