Oceanside CA— On Sunday, December 20, 2015 the Oceanside Police Department will be conducting its Ninth Annual Dan Bessant Memorial Run.
The run is conducted in honor of slain Oceanside Police Officer Dan Bessant. Dan grew up and went to school in Oceanside. He became a cadet for the Oceanside Police Department and then a police officer. Dan worked in the Neighborhood Policing Unit and worked within the community of Oceanside to make a difference.
On December 20, 2006, Officer Dan Bessant, 25, was shot after he responded to assist another officer on a traffic stop. An officer had requested back up during a traffic stop near the 500 block of Arthur Avenue close to Gold Drive in Oceanside. Officer Bessant responded and was shot from behind by a person who was not a part of the traffic stop. The shot struck Officer Bessant under his arm in an area not covered by his bullet resistant vest. Officer Bessant was flown to Scripps Memorial Hospital, where he died from the injury.
Two teenage suspects were arrested and charged with Officer Bessant’s murder. One of them was convicted of murder and sentenced to life without the possibility of parole in November 2009.
Officer Bessant had been an officer with the Oceanside Police Department for three years and had worked in an unsworn position for three years prior to that. In 2013, the bridge on Pacific Street that connects to Oceanside Harbor was named in his honor.
The memorial run will begin at 5:00 p.m. at the intersection of Gold Drive and Arthur Avenue in the back gate area of Oceanside. Runners will cover the 3.4 miles back to the Oceanside Police Department at 3855 Mission Avenue. There they will observe a minute of silence for Dan.
Beginning on Gold Drive, the route will follow Vandegrift then west on North River Road, South on Douglas across Mission into the parking lot by the 7-11 to the station.
Included in the run will be officers, professional staff, and Explorers from the department as well as employees of the Oceanside Unified School District and supporters of the Oceanside Police Department. The run will be led by Motor officers.