2,000 Officers from Around the Country Honor Fallen Policeman

Twitter/ @SanDiegoPD
Twitter/ @SanDiegoPD
San Diego, CA

SAN DIEGO, California — In more than 600 law enforcement vehicles and on 200 police motorcycles were more than 2,000 police officers from around the country participating in a procession to honor fallen San Diego officer Jonathan “J.D.” De Guzman on Friday.

It had been just a week since the night when officers De Guzman and Wade Irwin were shot without a warning during a traffic stop. Irwin survived and received surgery, but De Guzman died from his injuries. De Guzman was a 16-year veteran of the San Diego Police Department. He is survived by his wife and two children.

The Friday procession involved 1,000 SDPD officers and another 1,000 from across California and the United States, according to local Fox 5 News. The first officers gathered as early as 5 a.m. for the two motorcades that would honor De Guzman. One began around 9 a.m., starting at Qualcomm Stadium and traveling to Shadow Mountain Community Church. The Friday service began at the El Cajon Church around 11 a.m. After the service, the motorcade continued from the church to the final resting place at Glen Abbey Memorial Park.

San Diego Chief of Police Shelley Zimmerman remarked during a press conference following De Guzman’s death of his desire to serve the community and his great love for his family. At Friday’s memorial, she said, “J.D. wasn’t just a good man; he was a great man.” She went on to speak of his immigration to the U.S. from the Philippines and of De Guzman’s faith.

Zimmerman spoke of his outstanding, positive attitude and work ethic. She recounted a prior incident during which De Guzman was stabbed in the line of duty and ultimately had to fire on his attacker. He had been chosen for an elite position on the SDPD’s gang suppression team. “Make no mistake about it, we need police officers to stand that line between good and evil and between chaos and calm every single day, every single night; we need that.”

“J.D. was known as a protector and a role model,” she said. “He would step into harm’s way and not think twice.”

De Guzman received multiple awards for his outstanding service and bravery as a police officer, but Zimmerman remarked that this was not why he became a police officer. He joined to protect, she said. Zimmerman said to De Guzman’s parents, “You raised not just a great man; you raised a righteous man, a man who went out and made sure the humblest among our city were protected.”

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the children of God,” Zimmerman quoted from the Bible as she closed her remarks. “Thank you for always being there for everyone.”

The San Diego Police Department thanked all who commemorated De Guzman’s life:

The video of Zimmerman speaking at the memorial service was posted by CBS 8 local news.

Follow Michelle Moons on Twitter @MichelleDiana.