CHULA VISTA, CA — It’s been 2 years since San Diego lost one of its finest during a routine traffic stop.
But from now on, the late Officer Jonathan Deguzman will be seen and remembered as cars pass through this bridge overlooking the 805 freeway.
“I never expected this bridge to be named after my dad, so I have to admit this is pretty cool. And crazy to see things like this,” said his son, Jonathan.
Just days before the two year anniversary of Deguzman’s final watch, his family, city officials and community members unveiled the sign that will hang in Chula Vista.
Deguzman migrated to the Philippines at 20 years old, and within six years, he had become a police officer eventually joining the gang suppression unit.
He totaled 16 years of police service and left behind his wife and two children.
“We really wanted to make sure that his name really was lasting in this area that people in generations to come would look up and say who was that let me find out,” said Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher.
Deguzman’s name is also etched onto a memorial at the police headquarters and a post office has been named in his honor…
The suspect who survived the altercation is still awaiting trial, with the death penalty being considered.
“It’s been difficult these past two years trying to cope without my dad, and I have days where everything is fine and I’m happy and then I have these other horrible days where I just lose it, because I miss him so much. And I would trade anything just to talk to my
dad one more time.”
The idea was first brought up by elected officials shortly after Deguzman’s death, which helped bring the community together,fter a the renaming of the new bridge was approved. The community raised over $6,000 to have the bridge installed.
“The Filipino community has shown amazing Filipino compassion, and that great Pinoy pride we always show whenever it’s needed,” said Al Ambito, president of the San Diego Pan Pacific Law Enforcement Association.
While Deguzman now has a physical bridge, there’s another memorial looking to bridge generations.
The San Diego Pan Pacific Law Enforcement Association honors officer Deguzman’s memory with an annual memorial scholarship.