PALM SPRINGS, Ca.
A Palm Springs Police officer is celebrating his 50th birthday by walking 50 miles for those who have died in the line of duty.
On October 8th, Palm Springs Officers Gil Vega and Lesley Zerebny were killed.
Officer Joe Cook is spending his birthday honoring their memory.
"The sacrifice that Officer Zerebny and Officer Vega made is tremendous, and the community support that they’ve shown after that tragedy was just heartwarming," said Officer Cook.
Officer Vega’s wife, daughter and granddaughter joined officers and residents in the walk around the Palm Springs High School track field.
"The outpouring has been amazing for our family, it is still very difficult for us. So we’re just doing little bits here and there with what we can tolerate, and support. This is something that’s a little distraction for us, and we try to honor them, and everyone," said Officer Vega’s daughter, Andrea Murray.
When an officer is killed in the line of duty, it’s referred to as end of watch.
People added their feet to the line to honor those watching over us.
"They do risk their lives everyday for us, and 50 years old is a very significant age," said Amelia Rodriguez, a Palm Springs Unified School District employee, who walked on her break.
Moreno Valley resident, Daryl Terrell said, "The whole thing is that we’re in this together no matter where we live. These folks are protecting our community, and my grandfather was a police officer."
Each lap, Officer Cook dedicated to a fallen officer, firefighter or military service member.
"When something bad happens, we’re going to show up, and we’re going to help. So if they need us, day or night, hot or hot, we’re coming out 365 days a year," said Officer Cook.
Step by step and day after day, Officer Cook is dedicating his 18,264 days on earth to those that serve.