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Week of Tributes Will Honor Fallen Officers

May 10, 1999|HOLLY J. WOLCOTT

In recognition of the upcoming Peace Officers' Memorial Day this Saturday, Simi Valley officers will begin each patrol shift this week with a prayer and wear a black stripe across their badges in memory of fallen officers.

Flags at Simi's city buildings will also fly at half-staff.

The memorial day will mark the final day of National Police Week, which was proclaimed by President John F. Kennedy in 1962 as a way to recognize the efforts of officers throughout the country.

During the week, Simi police officers will display blue ribbons on their patrol cars. Other police agencies in the county also have planned tributes.

"Peace Officers' Memorial Day has a very special meaning for the members of the Simi Valley Police Department since the tragic death of Officer Michael Clark," Police Lt. Neal Rein said.

Clark was the first member of the Simi force to die in the line of duty. He was shot to death Aug. 4, 1995, by former schoolteacher Daniel Allan Tuffree. Clark had responded to a call for help at Tuffree's home.

Tuffree was convicted and sentenced to 54 years to life in prison.

According to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, 155 officers and deputies nationwide were killed in the line of duty in 1998. Of those, 17 deaths were in California, two in Ventura County.

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