Early this morning, a Canadian police officer parked his Hummer H3 in front of Dallas Police Department headquarters on South Lamar Street. This was no surprise visit. A crowd of about 50 DPD officers and staff waited outside for Sgt. Steve Gibson to arrive. Gibson is on a "drive to remember" officers killed last year in the line of duty. This is the third annual drive, which covers more than 5,000 miles in 12 days. This year's drive began on April 28 in British Columbia and will end in Washington D.C., on May 10, just in time for the 2009 National Police Week there.
The rolling memorial is decorated anew each year with the names of the fallen officers from the previous year printed on the hood. The windshield reads "We Drive For Those Who Died." At each stop, family members of the deceased, as well as other officers, sign their names next to the the names of their fallen family member or friend.
Family members of Victor Lozada, the Dallas police motorcycle officer who crashed and was killed last year while escorting the Hillary Clinton motorcade, signed the hood of the Hummer in his honor. Officers who served with Senior Corporal Norm Smith in the gang unit took a group photo in front of the car, posing around a magnetized photograph of Smith placed on the side of the car.
Gibson came up with the idea four years ago as a way to raise awareness for the number of officers killed each year -- a number Gibson believes is largely ignored in general media coverage. "We want people to look at the car and say, 'What's that all about?' and then they'll start to realize how many officers are killed," Gibson told Unfair Park. "There's an officer killed every three days in the U.S." Last year, 140 U.S. officers and one Canadian police officer were killed in the line of duty.
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After the jump, the Hummer in front of DPD HQ.