The Galt community and first responders gathered Monday evening outside the Galt Police Department in a show of solidarity with two officers injured in a car crash.
Officers Kapri Herrera and Harminder Grewal had been driving north to assist with the Caldor Fire on Aug. 22 when a pickup truck traveling south broke through a concrete construction barrier and struck the officers’ vehicle head-on, killing the truck driver and injuring two of the passengers.
Herrera and Grewal needed to be extricated from their vehicle; Herrera is in critical but stable condition, while Grewal remains in very critical condition as of press time.
Chaplain Mindi Russell of Law Enforcement Chaplaincy Sacramento said that the vigil, and wakefulness, represented the community’s continued concern for the officers’ health.
“We stand with our Galt Police Department family, with purposeful sleeplessness, keeping watch on the updates for our officers, keeping them in our thoughts and prayers as we go about our lives.”
Herrera’s father, Andy, spoke to the more than 300 people gathered about the significance of their presence.
“If you think that this doesn’t have an impact, I never thought, or my family thought –” he said, pausing, “– that we would be on this side, but this makes a difference, and it helps.
“This is going to keep our family strong, and Grewal’s family strong.”
Attendees showed their support in various ways, leaving well-wishes on a set of posters that read, “Get well soon” and laying bouquets of flowers at a sign thanking first responders.
Interim Police Chief Richard Small thanked members of California Highway Patrol and Cosumnes Fire Department for their “heroic” work in responding to the crash and getting help to the officers. He also recognized the Galt police staff.
“Even when they’re hurting, they’re serving the community willingly, and there’s certain times when you’re just really proud to be a part of an organization and to be a part of a family, and I couldn’t be more proud of the work they’re doing and will continue to do in this community,” Small said.
Herrera officially joined the force with her swearing-in in April, and Grewal was sworn into service 2019.
At the April swearing-in, Herrera told the Herald about her family’s deep connection with law enforcement and how it “inspired” her, even from a young age.
“Ever since she was little, she’s always wanted to be an officer,” Herrera’s brother Joseph told the Herald. “She’s always been about serving the public because it’s just in our blood.”
He recalled talking with his sister, over speaker-phone because COVID-19 restrictions limit access to her in the hospital, and telling her that she’s not alone, even though she feels alone at this moment. And it’s nice knowing that the community’s making sure that, as the family, we’re not alone.
“So we really appreciate it and value every single person that came tonight, has left a message on Facebook or wherever, or even just said a simple prayer. It means everything to us,” he said.