News Release News Release The City of Palo Alto
Communications Department
250 Hamilton Ave
Palo Alto, CA 94301


Subject :

Redwood Trees to be Dedicated Thursday in Honor of Fallen Officers
Contact : Brian Philip, Detective Sergeant, Police Department    650-329-2413
Palo Alto, CA -- The Palo Alto Police Department is holding a special ceremony this Thursday on National Peace Officers Memorial Day to dedicate a grove of massive Coast Redwood trees in memory of the three officers who have fallen in Palo Alto history.  The event is open to the public and all are encouraged to attend to show their support for our law enforcement community.

The short ceremony will begin at 2:00 p.m. on Thursday, May 15, 2014, at Cogswell Plaza in downtown Palo Alto.  Chief Dennis Burns and Mayor Nancy Shepherd will be speaking, and the Palo Alto Police Department Honor Guard will be in attendance.  We will unveil a special plaque at the site during the event.

The grove of three Coast Redwood trees, which stand together at the corner of Lytton Avenue and Ramona Street, will be dedicated as "Memorial Grove," in honor of Reserve Officer Lester Cole, Officer Gene Clifton, and Reserve Officer Theodore Brassinga.  For more information about them, visit

The date May 15, 2014, holds a special significance for us.  Not only will it be the twentieth anniversary of the tragic death of Officer Brassinga, but it is also National Peace Officers Memorial Day.  For those two reasons, Thursday will be an especially fitting day to recognize our three fallen officers by memorializing their service to the Palo Alto community in the form of this Memorial Grove.

A special thank you goes to Canopy (, an environmental non-profit organization based in Palo Alto, who selected these trees as the site of Memorial Grove due to their proximity to the original police station at 450 Bryant Street.  The trees were planted at the site in 1955.  From Thursday forward, they will provide a lasting memorial to our three fallen officers.

We hope you will be able to join us!