Forty-eight peace officers from 20 different law enforcement agencies have died in the line of duty in Orange County, and each of those officers left behind a family in need.
The Orange County Sheriff’s Advisory Council’s Project 999 was founded to help provide financial assistance to the families of fallen officers.
Each year, a group of bicycle riders, representing police agencies throughout Orange County, join together to commemorate the lives of those fallen officers. The riders do this by participating in a Memorial Ride cycling 630 miles from the California State Peace Officer Memorial in Sacramento to Orange County’s Peace Officer Memorial at the Plaza of the Flags in Santa Ana.
This year, more 100 law enforcement officials representing different agencies throughout the county participated in the Project 999 Memorial Ride. Retired Captain Charlie Chavez, Motor Officer Steve Anderson, Detective Chris Masilon, Officer Trang Pham, and I had the honor of representing the Anaheim Police Department.
These riders spent weeks of training to prepare for the ride. They cycled through rolling green hills in Winters and Pleasant Valley, climbed the steep ocean cliffs of Big Sur, rode through farm fields outside San Luis Obispo, and cruised along Pacific Coast Highway in Huntington Beach.
Every day, peace officers at different agencies in Orange County willingly put their lives on the line to defend the weak, help the needy, seek justice, and uphold the freedoms on which this great land was founded. Let us never forget those brave men and women who paid the ultimate sacrifice in serving others. This year, Project 999 raised more than $100,000 to help support the families of fallen officers in Orange County.