The Tuolumne County Peace Officer’s Memorial on Wednesday, as it always does, brought honor shrouded in grief, as shown when Tuolumne County Sheriff Bill Pooley’s read the names of the deputies in California who were killed last year in the line of duty.
Especially when he got to No. 5, Deputy Tony Hinostroza III, who died Nov. 25, 2018, the Sunday after Thanksgiving. Pooley could barely speak the words to say Hinostroza had been his beat partner years ago when he was a deputy in Stanislaus County.
Also on the list, read by members of their respective agencies, were officers from the California Highway Patrol, police departments and the Department of Corrections. They were from Los Angeles, Pomona, Marin, Costa Mesa, Sacramento, Ventura, Gardena and Newman — February 6 to the day after Christmas.
Eleven in all.
Five suffered gunshot wounds, three died in car accidents, one was hit by a passing car, another suffered a heart attack and a corrections officer was beaten by an inmate.
Six officers have been killed in the line of duty in the history of Tuolumne County, from Constable John Sheldon in 1855 to Deputy David P. Grant in 2004. Their names, along with Wesley D. Johnson (1969), Paul R. Marks Sr. (1967), John Leary (1902) and Joel McDonald (1901) were read as well.
Mike Anderson, whose son Mike Jr., a Marine corporal, died in an ambush in 2004 in Fallujah, paid tribute to all officers.
“A hero is someone who puts himself in harm’s way for the safety of others,” Anderson, of Modesto, said.
Ben Orr played “Amazing Grace” on a bagpipe and Jeff Johnson played taps on a bugle. A California Highway Patrol helicopter performed a flyover.
End of watch, gentlemen. Thank you for your service and sacrifice.