Santa Paula Times

Groundbreaking April 18 for Santa Paula Police Memorial

April 13, 2011
Santa Paula News

Santa Paula, known for its long held respect and affection for law enforcement, will celebrate the groundbreaking of a monument honoring two law enforcement officers whose “End of Watch” occurred on-duty, as well as for all who serve.

The groundbreaking for the Santa Paula Police Memorial will be held Monday, April 18 at 10 a.m., just west of the historic Depot at Railroad Plaza.

The Santa Paula Police Memorial is to honor Marshal Henry “Hugh” Newton Norman, shot and killed November 25, 1913, and SPPD Officer James Barmore, killed in a motorcycle accident on February 7, 1953 while responding to a vehicle accident. The names of the two officers are already memorialized on monuments at the Ventura County Government Center, Sacramento and Washington, D.C., but area supporters felt they deserved recognition where they served.

“I’m very happy that we’ve now reached this milestone” of breaking ground for the memorial, said SPPD Memorial Chairman Nils Rueckert. “There’s been a year and a half of planning by a dedicated group of volunteers, supported by a strong fundraising effort. It’s a significant event.”

The groundbreaking, said SPPD Lt. Carlos Juarez, is “a big step towards something that was a long time coming.” The City Council first approved the concept of such a memorial in December 2006; over time the Santa Paula Historical Society became deeply involved in the effort that grew from honoring the two EOW officers to also recognizing all who serve law enforcement.

Final planning and fundraising for the $30,000 monument, a 10-foot-tall obelisk that will be flanked by flagpoles and feature a brick pathway bearing the names of past and present SPPD personnel, began in earnest about a year ago. “It certainly is satisfying that more than a year’s worth of work done by the committee is finally becoming a reality,” noted Juarez, who researched Norman and Barmore as well as hundreds of former SPPD staffers back to the early 1900s.

Now considered the SPPD historian, Juarez said he is “really delighted by the community support and overwhelmed at the communication” he was subject to by those offering donations, leads and information garnered through the memorial’s Facebook page, phone calls and word of mouth.

Juarez also asked that anyone with photographs, memorabilia or SPPD stories get in touch with him for an upcoming exhibit at the Santa Paula California Oil Museum. The exhibit will coincide with the May 21 dedication of the memorial as well as National Police Memorial Week.

Juarez also led the fundraising effort, and the overall response to the memorial effort, he noted, “has really been amazing.” The monument will feature brass plaques with bas-relief portraits and biographies of Norman and Barmore; alternate sides of the obelisk will sport SPPD badges and patches.

“We started out with just a blank piece of paper,” said Rueckert. “Soon you will be proud to see a beautiful monument honoring two fallen officers, long overdue, and which also commemorates the city’s police personnel who’ve proudly served our community so well over the years.”

Tax-deductible donations for the SPPD Memorial can be made out to and sent to Santa Paula Police & Fire Foundation, P.O. Box 162, Santa Paula, CA 93061-0162. Please note SPPD Memorial on the memo line.

Bricks are $110 each, and if you don’t have a specific SPPD staffer in mind - or if your choice is taken - the donation will provide an inscribed brick assigned by the committee. For more information, call Juarez at 525-4474 ext. 115.