A Southern California community is grieving the loss of a police officer killed while riding his motorcycle as he headed home from work.
The officer, who had spent 20 years with the Oxnard Police Department, was assigned to Hueneme High School as a school resource officer. He had worked at the school for about seven years.
One recent afternoon, the 45-year-old stopped by the downtown police station after work before heading home to Camarillo. It was then that his motorcycle was hit by a truck.
The California Highway Patrol is investigating the crash.
Colleagues remembered the officer for his endearing personality. He “was a big guy with a warm smile, and he always made you feel like the most important person at the moment,” a retired area firefighter told the Ventura County Star.
During the victim’s career, he held a variety of positions. He worked as a patrol officer, traffic officer, property crimes detective and an instructor at the police academy. He was known to be a familiar face throughout the city.
Nowhere was he more appreciated than at the high school.
“As a police officer on campus daily, as someone kids can go to, it takes special character,” the assistant superintendent of the Oxnard Union High School District told the newspaper. He stated that the resource officer “was really good at that.”
The officer is survived by his wife and three children, ages 14 to 20. His older brother also is an Oxnard police officer,
The Oxnard Peace Officers Association has set up a fundraiser for the family, Since he was off duty, they will not receive the same benefits as if he had been killed in the line of duty. When the family is emotionally able, a consultation with an attorney could be beneficial, as well.