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Memorial Run for OPD Officer Dan Bessant

Oceanside CA— On a day where much of America was shocked by the ambush murder of New York City Police Officers,  Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos, the Oceanside Police Department remembered one of their own with the 8th Annual Daniel Bessant Memorial run.

The run began just after sunset near the location where Oceanside Police Officer Dan Bessant was slain, on December 20th, 2006, at the intersection of Gold Drive and Arthur Avenue. Escorted by the departments new Nissan GT-R along with four motor-officers, approximately 20 people ran the four miles back to Oceanside Police headquarters where they heard remarks from Oceanside Police Captain, Fred Armijo and Daniels father, Steve Bessant followed by a moment of silence.

Captain Armijo opened the remarks saying “Earlier today, there were two New York City Police Officers who were  ambushed and killed while they sat defenseless in their patrol car. Eight years ago today, a similar cowardly act occurred four miles from here when Dan was taken from us.” Captain Armijo said the murders in New York was set against a backdrop of “a lot of negative sentiment that is sweeping the country right now.” continued  Armijo, ” There is a silent majority out there that not only support us but they need us.”

“Sometimes, the work that we do is simply not pleasant to watch, not all the time but sometimes. Now, we still need do the business of police work. The community needs us to be engaged in the business of police work.” the Captain continued, “Dan grew up here and was a member of the community. As a police officer, Dan went into the neighborhoods. He contacted people. He engaged in police work to make the neighborhoods safer for people to live and raise a family.”

Wyatt with Steve Bessant and Captain Armijo

Dans son Wyatt with Steve Bessant and Captain Armijo

Captain Armijo challenged officers of OPD “It doesn’t matter if you live or grew up in this neighborhood. If you work for our department, you are a part of this community. I challenge you to do this job the way Dan did this job.” Captain Armijo said Dan made neighborhoods safer for the silent majority that just want to raise a family in peace and safety.

“Dan did it a little bit differently.” said  Armijo “Dan had a great time doing what he did. He had that little something extra about his personality. That was one of the great things about Dan. He had a great time doing the work that we are here doing and I do challenge you to live up to Dans’ memory and engage in police work the way that Dan did.”

“Thank you for continuing to remember Dan.” said Steve Bessant “He loved his work. He absolutely loved the job he did as a cop and he loved the people he worked with.” continued Steve “He loved working in the community and making it safe.”  Steve told of how his son enjoyed the “rhythms of the city” and watching a day progress through its cycles. “It would get dark, the traffic would die down.  There would be a quiet time and the sun would come up and Oceanside would start another day.” Steve said he loved the rhythm of the city and knowing how everything worked.

You can hear the remarks of Captain Armijo and Steve Bessant along with the letter written to the OPD by Dan’s son Wyatt by clicking Here.

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