College of the Desert to hold memorial for public safety employees
PALM DESERT — College of the Desert Public Safety Academy police and fire cadets will hold a memorial ceremony tomorrow for two Riverside County public safety employees who died in the line of duty this year.
The ceremony — scheduled to begin at noon Saturday at the academy's memorial fountain — will honor Riverside police Officer Michael Crain and Riverside County Firefighter/Paramedic Christopher Douglas.
Members of their families, the Riverside County Fire Department and Riverside Police Department and COD staff are expected to attend. A barbecue will follow.
Crain, 34, was fatally shot in February by disgrunted ex-Los Angeles Police Department officer Christopher Dorner, who also wounded Crain's patrol partner. Dorner, who also killed a San Bernardino County sheriff's detective and an Irvine couple, died when the Big Bear cabin where he was hiding burned, following a gun battle with authorities.
Douglas, 41, was killed in July when he was struck by a pickup truck on the shoulder of eastbound Interstate 10 at the Monterey Avenue onramp in Palm Desert, where his engine truck was stopped.
The rig, whose crew was responding to a crash on the freeway, was stopped so firefighters could put on their gear. Douglas, an apparatus engineer and paramedic, was struck by the pickup when he got out of the driver's seat of the engine truck.
The COD Public Safety Academy's memorial fountain, established in 2009, honors law enforcement officers and firefighters killed in the line of duty in Riverside County since 1895.