Prock, Sanders added to list of fallen officers
By Brittney Falcon, Staff Services Analyst
Office of Public and Employee Communications
A memorial in Stockton honoring peace officers from San Joaquin County who were killed in the line of duty will add several names, including two CDCR officers who died while serving at Deuel Vocational Institution (DVI), once a new memorial is built.
“CDCR personnel serve proudly and we honor the lives of who have fallen in the line of service,” said DVI Warden Robert Burton.
In 1963, Air Force veteran Connie Prock was 23 years old when he was fatally stabbed while working at DVI. He had worked at the Tracy prison for just over a year and was responding to a fight in the D-Wing shower area. Once he arrived to the scene, there was no fight in progress – it was a set-up. Two offenders with inmate-manufactured knives were waiting for Prock to arrive, and when he did they attacked, stabbing him multiple times. He was transferred to the DVI hospital where he succumbed to his injuries 15 minutes later, on June 26, 1963.
Prock was the first officer to be murdered in the line of duty at DVI.
Ten years later on Nov. 27, 1973, Officer Jerry Sanders, 35, was fatally stabbed by inmates while on duty at DVI. The two suspects went through four trials and were acquitted of the charges. One suspect who was in prison for a robbery charge was released. The second suspect who was in prison for a prior murder remained in prison.
In 1990, a memorial was built at the Stockton Police Department to honors officers killed in the line of duty. When researching the memorial, members of the San Joaquin County Fallen Peace Officer Foundation discovered 16 names were missing from the memorial, including Prock and Sanders.
Realizing the missing names wouldn’t fit on the current memorial, foundation members began a campaign to design a new memorial to accommodate the missing names and provide space.
Mark McLaughlin, foundation president, said the memorial site is also home to an annual service held to honor fallen officers.
“During this service, personnel from nearly all law enforcement agencies in the county attend to honor their specific officers as well as all the personnel who gave the ultimate sacrifice,” he said.
To date, organizers have raised nearly $150,000 of the $250,000 needed for the remodel. The foundation is selling memorial bricks to be part of the memorial. Current and past officers in San Joaquin County may be honored through Guardian bricks, which will be located closest to the memorial to symbolically stand guard over it, and families, donors and sponsors may purchase bricks that will surround the Guardians.
“The committee is committed to creating a new memorial that will meet the past and future needs of honoring our fallen officers and their surviving families,” McLaughlin said.
(Some websites may not be accessible from a CDCR computer.)
Officers currently honored at memorial:
- George R. Turner – Stockton Police Department 1954
- Henry R. Baker – Stockton Police Department 1894
- John L. Briscoe – Stockton Police Department 1917
- Francis J. Murray – Stockton Police Department 1938
- Floyd N. Bristol – Stockton Police Department 1949
- George Woerhle – Stockton Police Department 1960
- Nicholas P. Cecchetti – Stockton Police Department 1978
- Michael A. Coleman – San Joaquin Sheriff’s Office 1982
- Dale E. Newby – California Highway Patrol 1982
- Arthur E. Ford – Stockton Police Department 1988
- Dighton L. Little – San Joaquin Sheriff’s Office 1989
- Timothy D. White – Stockton Police Department 1990
- Arthur P. Parga – Stockton Police Department 1993
- Rick Cromwell – Lodi Police Department 1998
- Benjamin F. Ingram – Tracy Police Department 1915
- Frank Blondin – Tracy Police Department 1915
- Robert Winget – Ripon Police Department 2007
- Paul Stevens – Ripon Police Department 1972
- Scott Hewell – Stockton Police Department 2014
Officers to be added:*
- Joseph Buzzell – San Joaquin Sheriffs Office 1895
- Richard Squires – Fish and Game Warden 1916
- Raymond Heacock – Fish and Game Warden 1916
- Edward P. Brennan – San Joaquin Sheriffs Office 1922
- James A. Devine – San Joaquin Sheriffs Office 1926
- Roderick D. Gordon – Western Pacific Railroad PD 1935
- James A. Rawleigh – Castoria Constable 1936
- James W. Irey – Liberty Township Constable 1937
- Maurice W. Owen – California Highway Patrol 1940
- Edward H. Dillard – Union Township Constable 1940
- Harry L. Ashley – Santa Fe Railroad PD 1947
- Connie W. Prock – California Department of Corrections DVI 1963
- Donald Stewart – Escalon Police Department 1963
- Jerry Sanders – California Department of Corrections DVI 1973
- Floyd G. Wise – Tracy Police Department 1940
- Barney F. Phelan – Tracy Police Department 1936
*Law enforcement agencies in San Joaquin County are researching the officers who have fallen in the line of duty, and who are not on this memorial. Their deaths date back as far as 1895 from various places within San Joaquin County.