BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — More than a year has passed since Kern County Sheriff's deputy Philip Campas was killed in the line of duty. Friday, Senator Shannon Grove and the KCSO honored Campas.
Right off Highway 65 members of the community gathered to commemorate the life of fallen deputy Phillips Campas. A recently installed sign is a tribute to the legacy he left behind.
“He has impacted this community and done a lot of good for it, and I hope everybody thinks about that when they see his name up there,” said Grove.
In July 2022 Senator Grove put forward legislation to name the interchange at Highways 65 and 99 to the "Kern County Sheriff's Office Deputy Phillip Campas Memorial Interchange" as a forever tribute to the deputy.
Campas’ family spoke about the gesture while community members got a chance to write their signatures on the sign.
"It's going to be something out on the street and to know that we, as a community, all that had something to do with this," said Campas' mother Christine.
"We were excited that we got to sign it and I'm so glad everybody else got to sign it as well," added his widow, Christina. "It's going to be awesome to see. Every day, everybody's signatures, everybody who loved him."
Campas was shot and killed on July 25, 2021, while responding to a hostage situation in Wasco. But his memory holds strong in this community.
"They're going to see their name and the Kern County Sheriff's Office, and it's synonymous. Phillip Campas is the Kern County Sheriff's Office," said Sheriff Donny Youngblood.
"He's a hero. He gave his life to save the life of a family that was in distress," added Grove.
As for the placement of the sign, there is a personal connection to Campas.
"He thought he was a cowboy. He was a little, but this was a place where he would go out on Highway 65 and ride his horse. That was almost impossible to ride sometimes. It is a place that he liked."
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