IN MEMORY OF THE FALLEN

Let me start by introducing myself. My name is Greg Rickman. I am a disability retired police officer from the Oakland Police Department located in Oakland, California.   I am the founder and CEO of In Memory of the Fallen, which is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. 

 

For the past six or seven years, I have had the desire to build a 60’s era muscle car as a tribute to Law Enforcement Officers who have been killed in the line of duty.  This would combine my passion for old muscle cars with my passion for Law Enforcement, as well as pay respect for all Law Enforcement Officers throughout the United States who have given their lives in the line of duty. 

 

In my tenure with the Oakland Police Department, 6 police officers were killed in the line of duty. Since my retirement, another 6 officers have been killed in the line of duty. Although some closer than others, I knew all 12 of these officers, and shared a friendship with most of them. There is no doubt all of these deaths were tragic, but nothing has been more devastating and tragic than the death of the four Oakland Police Officers who lost their lives on March 21st, 2009. One of the officers, Sgt. Mark Dunakin was a good friend and former partner. We use to commute to work together. Although living less than 5 miles apart, we somewhat lost contact with each other after I retired. I would see Mark five or six times a year at various police functions. I was remarried about 9 months before this tragedy. The last few times I saw Mark he kept inviting me over for dinner to meet my new wife. I always told him I would be there but then was always “too busy” to make the arrangements. Three weeks before this tragic incident, I ran into Mark's wife at the supermarket and she asked me if I was ever coming to dinner. I promised her I would call to set a date. I never did. When I called her the day after this horrible tragedy, the first thing she said to me was “you know you never did make it to dinner”. Those words will haunt me the rest of my life.

 

So that brings me to why I must build this tribute car. I don’t want to regret not building this car because I was “too busy” or “can’t find the time”. I want this car to be special to the Law Enforcement family, especially Mark. Let’s just say this is my version of “Making it to dinner.”

 

What started out as a simple idea to build a tribute car in my garage has now grown into a non-profit organization which honors the memories of both our fallen Law Enforcement Officers as well as our fallen Fire Fighters.  Our mission is simple;

 

It is our mission to prevent line of duty deaths and keep alive, the memory of our fallen heroes.  To make sure these brave individuals did not die in vain and to insure their legacy will forever be honored.  Guided by relentless focus on our core values, we will realize this mission by setting the highest standards in professionalism, reliability and the belief that there is nothing greater than the heart of a volunteer.

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