ALAMEDA -- Residents, city officials and current and former Alameda police officers will gather Tuesday for the dedication of a memorial garden that salutes Officers Deward Burton Gresham and Robert James Davey Jr., who both died in the line of duty.
The garden is outside the police department on Oak Street and includes busts of the two officers, a new flagpole and stone benches.
"This memorial has been made possible primarily through private donations and a lot of volunteer work," interim police Chief Paul Rolleri said. "We've worked hard to create a memorial that honors our fallen colleagues and their families in a respectful, beautiful way."
Artist Lawrence Noble, whose previous work includes the California Firefighters' Memorial in Sacramento's Capitol Park and the San Bernardino County Peace Officers' Memorial, created the sculpture honoring the two Alameda officers.
Bay Area landscaper Linda Gates designed the garden layout, which features a short walking path and environmentally friendly plants. The memorial is directly across the street from the Alameda Free Library and next to the City Hall parking lot.
"It is a new public open space that is a wonderful addition to the city buildings on Oak Street," Rolleri said.
Deward Burton Gresham was trying to make a traffic stop on his police motorcycle on July 10, 1942, when he collided with another vehicle as it pulled in front of him. Gresham, who was wearing a soft hat and not a helmet, succumbed to a head injury the next day. 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 a suspected drug dealer on March 3, 1983. As officers entered the residence, one of the dealer's bodyguards jumped through a back window carrying an AR-15 that had been modified into a fully automatic M-16, police said. Davey, who was outside at the rear of the property, ordered the man to drop the weapon, but the man opened fire. Davey was fatally wounded in the side. Before he died, Davey returned fire and wounded the man, who was arrested in the back yard.
Davey had been with the department 10 years. His wife, Sue, and their four children survived him. The family is expected to be on hand for the memorial dedication on Tuesday. The event will take place at 10 a.m. at the Alameda Police Department, 1555 Oak St.
Reach Peter Hegarty at 510-748-1654 or follow him on Twitter.com/Peter_Hegarty.