Galt police officer Harminder Grewal has been posthumously awarded a bachelor’s degree by the university he attended before his death in August.
Grewal had been a few credits away from completing a degree in criminal justice management at Union Institute & University (UI&U) when he was severely injured in a car crash and, on Aug. 26, succumbed to his injuries.
Chief of Police Brian Kalinowski expressed appreciation for the ceremony, held on Dec. 6, with members of Grewal’s family and the Galt Police Department in attendance.
“It’s important that we recognize the contributions that Harminder had and the efforts that he was making to set the standard for members of the organization in all aspects of the things he was doing,” Kalinowski told the Herald, pointing out not just Grewal’s educational endeavors, but also his everyday work, his dedication to physical fitness and his service as treasurer of the Galt police union.
“It was nice to participate in that event and have his family receive his diploma and let them experience that.”
In a prepared statement, UI&U President Karen Schuster Webb shared her condolences with Grewal’s family.
“We understand that the value of education was held high in his family and everyone was looking forward to celebrating the completion of his studies,” she said. “It is with a heavy heart, but with deep respect, that we pay this tribute of remembrance to Officer Grewal by awarding him this posthumous degree.”
Grewal’s sister, Navdeep Sidhu, has previously spoken about her childhood with Grewal; he “hated” class as a child, and the siblings would occasionally skip school, she recalled at a memorial service in September. Sidhu said her brother decided at a young age to become a police officer.
During his time at police academy and his 2½ years with the Galt police, colleagues came to know Grewal for his sense of humor and generosity.
On the morning of Aug. 22, Grewal and fellow Galt officer Kapri Herrera were driving north on Highway 99 to assist with the response to the Caldor fire when a southbound pickup truck burst through concrete construction barriers and struck the officers’ vehicle head-on.
Herrera survived serious injuries and is recovering; she has attended multiple events honoring Grewal since then.