Valley Girl Scout expands fallen officer memorial in Minkler

The law enforcement community came together to remember the lives of two officers killed in the line of duty.
February 25, 2014 12:00:00 AM PST
The law enforcement community came together to remember the lives of two officers killed in the line of duty.

It's been four years since tragedy overtook the town of Minkler. In 2010, Fresno County Sheriff's Deputy Joel Wahlenmaier and Reedley Police Officer Javier Bejar died in the line of duty.

Tuesday morning, many with heavy hearts, including the officer's wives, came to Minkler for a special dedication.

Bryn Cloud said, "So when this whole accident happened, I saw how the community was so distraught and I wanted to make an impact on the people that still remember this and care a lot about it."

Local resident and Girl Scout Bryn Cloud was so moved, she made it her gold star project to expand the memorial site, adding a flagpole, benches, and a garden.

Reedley Police Chief Joe Garza said, "It's just truly amazing what she's given back to this community and the law enforcement community as a whole."

It was an emotional dedication for both families. The Bejar family says it's still tough to deal with the loss of Javier, but this memorial serves as a tribute.

The brother of Javier, Orlando Bejar said, "We feel grateful for what they're doing and they're still remembering him and both of them after four years."

The fallen officers' wives Bev Wahlenmaier and Miriam Bejar - were touched by the community and the law enforcement that attended.

"Support of all the departments, including the highway patrol," said Bev. "That means a lot. They just suffered two losses and they're here today. So it's important."

And while there were grieving hearts for the recent loss by the CHP and the loss of Wahlenmaier and Bejar, this memorial stands as reminder their sacrifice is not forgotten.

"Anybody that travels by this road will know that their safety comes at price," said Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims. "And in this case, it was the price of two law enforcement officers and their lives."


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