ALAMEDA -- Police Officers Deward Gresham and Robert Davey Jr. fell in the line of duty and soon Alameda residents will have a place to reflect upon their sacrifice.

A memorial that will include sculpture, granite benches and ground lighting is planned for the area currently landscaped outside the police station on Oak Street, directly across from the Alameda Free Library.

Along with honoring the two men, the new memorial will provide a new public gathering space in the Civic Center near City Hall, Alameda police Capt. Paul Rolleri said.

"It will be a place for everyone," he said. "It will have places for people to sit. It's also right across from the library."

The Planning Board will carry out a design review of the project when it meets on Monday.

Deward Gresham was attempting to make a traffic stop on his police motorcycle on July 11, 1942, when another vehicle pulled in front of him, causing a collision that left him with a fatal head injury. He was 33 years old and had been a police officer three years.

Robert Davey Jr., also 33, was killed while serving a search warrant on March 3, 1983. He had been with the department 10 years. His wife, Sue, and their four children survived him.


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Artist Lawrence Noble, whose previous work includes the California Firefighters' Memorial in Capitol Park in Sacramento and the San Bernardino County Peace Officers' Memorial, will create the sculpture honoring the two Alameda officers. Bay Area landscaper Linda Gates is designing the memorial layout. It will feature environmentally friendly plants such as Blue Fescue and New Zealand Flax.

Three trees that are currently on the strip where the memorial is planned will be removed. Three other trees along the curb will remain.

The goal is to break ground on March 3, the anniversary of Gresham's death, Rolleri said.

Donations are paying for the memorial. Anyone wishing to contribute can send a check payable to the Alameda Police Officers Association, P.O. Box 2306, Alameda, CA, 94501. "Police Memorial" should be written on the memo line. Contributions are tax deductible.

Reach Peter Hegarty at 510-748-1654 or follow him on Twitter.com/Peter_Hegarty.

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