FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 3, 2015
CONTACT: Bill Bird @ 916-651-4029
Huff Legislation Honors Fallen Law Enforcement Officers
Highway Sections Named for Officers Killed in the Line of Duty
SACRAMENTO: Legislation authored by Senate Minority Leader Bob Huff (R-San Dimas) will help ensure that two Orange County law enforcement officers will be remembered by future generations. Senate Concurrent Resolution (SCR) 27 will designate a portion of State Highway Route (SR) 91 as the “Fullerton Police Officer Jerry Hatch Memorial Highway.” SCR 28 will designate the northbound and southbound lanes of State Highway Route (SR) 5 at the SR 91 interchange in the City of Fullerton as the “Fullerton Police Detective Tommy De La Rosa Memorial Interchange.”
The Fullerton Police Department approached Senator Huff with the request to author both pieces of legislation. The measures did not need the signature of the Governor, and have already been chaptered into law by the Secretary of State.
“Both of these officers provided the public with exemplary service and dedication to their jobs throughout their careers with the Fullerton Police Department,” said Senator Huff. “Detective De La Rosa served his country during the Vietnam War while in the Marine Corps. Officer Hatch was a dedicated family man and the first Fullerton Police Officer to be killed in the line of duty. Both paid the ultimate sacrifice.”
On Sunday, June 29, 1975, while on his way to work, Officer Hatch stopped to assist a motorist with an engine fire on the Beach Boulevard off ramp of State Highway Route 91. As he was placing his fire extinguisher back in his trunk, the officer was struck from behind by a drunk driver. He died a day later.
On June 21, 1990, Detective De La Rosa was ambushed and shot five times during an undercover reverse sting narcotics operation. Gravely injured, he was still able to return fire and fatally wound one of the suspects before succumbing to his injuries. Three other suspects were convicted of Detective De La Rosa’s murder and were sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
California law states that legislation must be enacted for a state-owned roadway or highway to be named in honor of a particular person or group. Senator Huff agreed to sponsor both bills after the Fullerton Police Department worked in cooperation with the State Department of Transportation to identify the two locations that will be used for this tribute. Donations from the community will help cover the cost of both signs and installation. Taxpayer money will not be used.
Senator Huff serves as the Senate Minority Leader and represents the 29th Senate District covering portions of Los Angeles, Orange and San Bernardino Counties. Follow Senator Huff on Twitter at @bobhuff99.