Public Safety Memorial honors hometown heroes: Submitted by the City of Beaumont.
They’re our hometown heroes and protectors.
And whether they died in the line of duty or after their public safety careers ended, these police officers and firefighters from Beaumont and Cherry Valley will have their names etched in granite to remind us of their sacrifice and service.
On Friday, October 19th, the city of Beaumont unveiled a new Public Safety Memorial on the lawn in front of the Civic Center. The city also launched a fundraising drive for Memorial, which will be completed over the next few years. Through the community’s generosity, more than $8,000 was raised Friday night.
“This is Beaumont at its finest,” Councilman Jeff Fox said during the ribbon-cutting ceremony. “We are a very giving community.”
Lately, many driving along 6th Street have noticed city crews pouring concrete, installing lighting and planting a rose garden for the Memorial. More than 100 people gathered to watch the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new Public Safety Memorial.
When finished, the Memorial will have separate upright slabs of black granite listing the names of Beaumont and Cherry Valley police officers and firefighters who died in the line of duty; or to recognize those who served our communities during their lifetime. Two bronze statues that depict a kneeling police officer and a kneeling firefighter will be part of the Memorial. The setting will also include four granite benches donated by several local organizations to add dignity and comfort in the rose garden setting:
- Beaumont Police Officers Association bench: in memory of Lt. John Acosta, a longtime member of the Beaumont Police Department, who lost a battle to cancer.
- City of Beaumont Bench: in memory of the crew of U.S. Forest Service Engine 57. In 2006, the crew died fighting the Esperanza Fire in Cabazon. The fallen firefighters are Fire Capt. Mark Loutzenhiser, Engineer Jess McLean, Assistant Engineer Jason McKay, Firefighter Pablo Cerda, and Firefighter Daniel Hoover-Najera. McLean was a Beaumont resident.
- Beaumont Fire Department bench: in memory of Fire Volunteer Scott Karnitz, who died in 1982 while helping a traffic accident victim along Highway 60.
- Cherry Festival Association bench: The Association is still considering recipients to honor.
After the ribbon-cutting ceremony, the City held a fundraiser at the Civic Center. Everybody gathered in the gym to support our police officers and firefighters.
During the event, they ate chili dogs, bought raffle tickets and raised their hands during an auction where supporters bid on everything from lunch with Beaumont Police Chief Frank Coe to a helicopter ride with the Fontana Police Department.
During the auction, Councilman Fox kept it lively while egging the audience on for this worthy cause. He’s also chairman of the Beaumont Public Safety Memorial Committee.
“Open your hearts … Reach deep ….. I need $240 …. How about $245? … I’ve got $255 on the floor … $300 in the back …. This is gorgeous …. Going once, twice, sold!!!”
Supporters were also able to pre-purchase “Memorial” bricks for $100 that will line the Memorial with the recipients’ personal messages. “Memorial” coins were also on sale for $15.
Today, the new Public Safety Memorial and the Veterans Memorial, which was established in 2001, connect with each other on the lawn area in front of the Civic Center.
Now, the public has an opportunity to dig deep and help support our new Public Safety Memorial.
We invite you to stop by the Civic Center, 550 E. 6th Street during business hours and purchase a brick, a coin or simply make a donation. We’re open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday and from 8 a.m. to noon on Friday. Donations are also being accepted at the Beaumont Police Department, 550 E. 6th St., and at the Albert A. Chatigny Sr. Community Recreation Center, 1310 Oak Valley Parkway (7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. No cash donations.) Donations may be earmarked for the “Public Safety Memorial Fund” and mailed to the Beaumont Civic Center, 550 E. 6th St., Beaumont, Ca. 92223.
For information, please call 951-769-8520.