Community honors fallen officers at annual wreath laying ceremony

At a solemn and emotional ceremony, first responders, community members, friends and family members  honored the memory of three regional law enforcement officers and all others who lost their lives due to domestic violence at Lassen Family Services’ annual Wreath Dedication Ceremony held at 10 a.m. Friday, Oct. 7 at the Lassen County Sheriff’s Office.

The ceremony remembers Lassen County Sheriff’s Deputy Larry Griffith who lost his life when he was shot and killed responding to a domestic violence incident in the North County; Susanville Police Officer Robert McElrath, himself the victim of domestic violence; Modoc County Sheriff’s Deputy Jack Hopkins who was killed responding to a domestic violence incident; and all others who have made the ultimate sacrifice under such circumstances.

LFS’ Angela Reed offered the opening and closing remarks and Jeremy Couso offered the invocation and the benediction — praying that no other officer will ever give his or her life in domestic violence confrontations. A tearful Lassen County Sheriff Dean Growdon remembered Griffith; Susanville Police Chief Ryan Cochran remembered McElrath; and Modoc County Sheriff Tex Dowdy remembered Hopkins.

Following comments from the law enforcement brass, wreaths were hung in memory of each of the three officers.