A California Highway Patrol officer who was killed in the line of duty in Contra Costa County last fall was honored this morning at the CHP's cadet academy graduation.
The CHP Cadet Training Class 3 of 2012 dedicated their graduation ceremony to Officer Kenyon Youngstrom, a 37-year-old father of four who was shot and critically injured by a driver during a routine traffic stop on Interstate Highway 680 near Alamo on the morning of Sept. 4, 2012.
The suspect, Christopher Boone Lacy, was shot and critically wounded by a CHP officer who arrived on scene.
Both Youngstrom and Lacy were pronounced dead later that day at John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek.
The news of Youngstrom's violent death shocked not only residents in his small hometown of Cordelia but also community members and CHP officers statewide.
Thousands attended his memorial service in Vacaville, from Gov. Jerry Brown and top CHP brass to law enforcement officers from throughout the state.
Friday morning, the class of 87 cadets preparing to start their own CHP careers presented the fallen officer's widow, Karen Youngstrom, with a plaque honoring her husband for his service.
Learning about the officer's untimely death while training at the CHP academy had a lasting impact on the graduating class, CHP Officer John Fransen said.
"They knew that Officer Youngstrom made the ultimate sacrifice serving the community of Contra Costa County and the state of California," Fransen said. "Any time you're immersed in that kind of training, it really hits home because you realize what you may eventually be called to do."
Copyright © 2013 by Bay City News, Inc. Republication, re-transmission or reuse without the express written consent of Bay City News, Inc. is prohibited.