BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — Gone but not forgotten, the efforts to honor Deputy Phillip Campas continue throughout the nation.
A national law enforcement memorial in Washington D.C. will honor officers who “made the ultimate sacrifice.”
“I knew Phillip Campas on a personal basis. We’re both Marine Corp veterans and had that in common. So, we shared a lot of stories of the same base we were stationed at.”
Sergeant Dustin Contreras and Deputy Phillip Campas were not just bonded by the KSCO patches on their sleeves.
As an instructor in the KCSO Academy, Sgt. Contreras watched Campas grow into the hero people we know him as today.
Deputy Campas fell in the line of duty during a hostage situation in Wasco last July.
“Anyone in the community can think of that one person, that inspired them in life, whether it was in their career, or school, he was that person. It wasn’t overbearing, he was very humble at what he did.”
Sgt. Contreras accompanies deputies Robert Fisher, Julio Garcia, Kent Sakamoto, who knew Campas personally, as they travel to D.C. during National Police Week.
That's where Deputy Campas will be forever memorialized, becoming a part of the National Law Enforcement Memorial.
“It’s so bittersweet that we’re honoring him, because we’re solidifying that he is gone.”
Generations of Kern County residents will now be able to travel to Washington D.C. and see Deputy Phillip Campas’ name etched in this walkway.
During National Police Week, members of the KCSO Honor Guard will accompany Campas’ family to see their loved one honored in this way.
“His name is etched into the national memorial, and it gets read at the State Capitol. To have his sister, his parents, his wife, and his children there, even more so and that’s what it’s about. It’s about the survivors of Phillip Campas being honored as well.”
According to Sheriff Donny Youngblood’s letter, the Board of Supervisors have to approve any employee travel expense more than $2,500, the estimated total cost for the trip being more than $11,000. The consent agenda item passed unanimously.
Sheriff Youngblood referencing the event in a previous 23ABC interview as one of many events where Campas is being honored in the county, state and country this year.
“He wasn’t just a part of the Kern County Sheriff’s office on the SWAT Team, he was also a part of the Marine Corp. He was also deployed several times to Afghanistan. This is someone that his whole life, was about what everyone wants to be.”