Horseback riders rode through Galt on Oct. 8 to honor fallen Galt police officer Harminder Grewal.
The Cowboy’s Honor Ride included mounted officers from the Alameda County and San Joaquin County sheriff’s offices and a Tracy drill team.
The Grewal family rode in a horse-drawn wagon, accompanied by relatives of Galt officer Kevin Tonn and Sacramento County sheriff’s deputy Adam Gibson, who were killed in 2013 and January of this year, respectively.
Grewal died on Aug. 26 from injuries sustained days earlier in a head-on crash. He and fellow officer Kapri Herrera had been driving to assist with the Caldor Fire.
Brian Kalinowski, who officially became the permanent Galt Police Department chief of police on Oct. 11, thanked the ride participants for coming out.
“The journey in our recovery and honoring officer Grewal is going to be a long-standing, in-depth process that we’re going to have to go through individually and as an organization and, most importantly, as a community,” Kalinowski said.
Norman Nather told the Herald that he started the honor rides dedicated to fallen officers as a way to “give voice” to people who support law enforcement. He said the rides continue an old tradition.
“A procession of mourners has been a human tradition for thousands of years, and we just do it on horseback,” Nather said.
Carlos Solorio and his children were among the Galt residents who came out to view the ride, which he called a “way to bring the community together and show support in this difficult moment for the police department.”
Seeing the horses, Solorio felt that they represent his hometown.
“That’s what Galt is,” he added.
Kalinowski led the ride, driving a Galt police car. He said that, as he drove, he felt some peace, seeing the people waving flags on the sidewalk, but he kept in mind that the healing process will continue “for a long time.”
“It’s important for people to remember that in law enforcement we have a role and responsibility, but at the end of the day, we’re all human, and we all have to process this loss and this grief.”