DOWNEY – Nearly an entire year after his passing, Downey fallen police officer Ricky Galvez was honored at the annual Gangs out of Downey (G.O.O.D.) golf tournament fundraiser.
The event was held Friday afternoon through the evening at Rio Hondo Golf Club.
G.O.O.D. has annually held golf tournaments in years past, however this year's was established as the first “Officer Ricardo ‘Ricky Galvez’ Memorial Golf Tournament.”
According to G.O.O.D. President Lt. Mark McDaniel, the tournament was established in order to keep the memory of Officer Galvez alive.
“Shortly after Rickey was taken from us, I thought it was the right thing to do to keep his memory ongoing and keep his memory with us all,” said McDaniel. “It was fitting to name the golf tournament in his honor.”
Galvez was tragically murdered just outside of the Downey Police Station last year in what officials have called a botched robbery attempt.
Despite it being a busy day in the city of Downey with the annual Sate of School’s address that morning and the highly anticipated City Council debate in the evening, many of the community’s political figures and notable residents still came to play a few holes and honor the city’s fallen hero.
Former Mayor Mario Guerra described it as a “magnificent day.”
“Ricky is so special to us, not only by what he represents, but by the kind of person he was,” said Guerra. “So today we’re here preserving his legacy and passing it on to another generation…”
Current Mayor Alex Saab also gave his thoughts, emphasizing the work that G.O.O.D. does for the community.
“G.O.O.D. does an invaluable service for our community,” said Saab. “Not only does it collaborate with all the different organizations in the community, but it also motivates our young people [and] educates them why they shouldn’t get involved in crime or gangs…it’s a model organization.”
A handful of DPD officers also attended, many of which were close to Galvez.
One such officer, Whinkler Zamora, was Galvez’s roommate.
“He was a big brother towards me,” said Zamora. “He never had a bad day, or at least that you could see. Always smiling, always cracking jokes, always looking for a great time even if it was in a dark setting. He was always thinking about others before himself. He wanted to see others succeed before he did…he was a great friend.”
Zamora had seen Galvez the night of his murder. Zamora said he was “in shock” when he learned of the tragedy.
“I had just seen him leave to work that same night…when I came home around 6 p.m. he was going to work,” said Zamora. “I got a call like at one in the morning from my supervisor to come into work because he needed me. He didn’t explain why. When I got to work I was told what happened.
"I don’t think I had ever felt that way in my life. It was a new feeling for me. I felt like I had lost a family member – a close brother. It’s a piece of me that will never be given back, but he affected all of us in a big way.”
Zamora did however find comfort in the outpouring of support from the community, much like many of the other officers affected by the loss.
“It was very heartwarming,” said Zamora. “It was something that was unexpected because I had never been like something like this before… so many people are out there that still love their law enforcement officials and they care a lot about their police officers, and they came out and showed us that. That meant a lot to us, because it showed that we still had people out in the world that really cared about us and really believed in what we’re trying to do and in the peace that we’re trying to keep around our city.”
Proceeds from Friday’s event will go towards a scholarship in Galvez’s name, and to the Downey School Resource Officer Program.