Ceremony for fallen Merced police officers today

A new memorial honoring fallen Merced police officers will be unveiled today during a public ceremony in front of the Merced Police Department.

The unveiling comes on the 10-year anniversary of the death of Officer Stephan Gray, who was shot and killed in the line of duty in 2004. Gray was a seven-year police veteran. He left behind a wife and three children.

Several members of Gray’s family are expected to speak at the ceremony, along with other police officers and Chief Norman Andrade, Detective Joe Deliman said Monday.

The dedication will also honor Sgt. Edward Gerald Leap, who died Nov. 18, 1946, when his vehicle collided with a train. Leap, a World War I veteran, had been a Merced police officer for eight years.

The memorial project is funded entirely from private donations and constructed under the direction of the Merced Police Officer’s Association. No public money is involved.

Officers are about $1,000 short of meeting their funding goal of $60,000. The police union continues to accept public donations, Deliman said.

Today’s ceremony begins at 10 a.m. in front of the Police Department, 611 W. 22nd St.

Deliman said the memorial will serve as a reminder to anybody walking into the Police Department of the officers who paid the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty.

For more information or to donate, call (209) 385-6912 or (209) 385-6992. Donations can also be made through the project’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/mpdfallenoffmemorial.