With a population of around 7,000 people, the city of Fowler, California, is a tight-knit community that strives to look after its own.
When Fowler Police Department Sergeant Arthur Duron, a 14-year veteran and dedicated community member, passed away from COVID-19 on February 2, 2022, members of the community knew they had to do something to thank Duron for his service.
With National Police Week fast approaching, the city of Fowler recently took action to honor Duron’s legacy and loved ones in a special way — by fundraising to send his family to Washington, D.C., to see their loved one’s name memorialized on the walls of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial.
“Art was a devoted son, brother, husband and father. He will be remembered for his humor, quick wit, diligence and commitment to professionalism while serving the city of Fowler,” an officer said on the end-of-watch call for Duron.
Recently, supporters held a swap meet event, which raised nearly $3,000, followed by an enchilada dinner that dedicated all proceeds to Duron’s family. The city’s local Starbucks also took part in the efforts, hosting a Coffee With a Cop event and accepting donations for the family from 1 to 3 p.m.
“It really points out how much honor Art brought to this job and how much this community really honors him for that sacrifice,” Fowler Police Chief Michael Reid told ABC 30.
On May 15, thousands of officers from around the country will attend the memorial service at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., for National Police Week. The service honors officers who recently made the ultimate sacrifice. Duron’s name is among those that will be engraved on the walls of the National Law Enforcement Officer Memorial.
“It gives the family a chance to go up there, and a lot of them take a paper and make inscriptions of that. They bring those back home, and it means so much to the family,” Reid said.
COVID-19 was the leading cause of law enforcement deaths in 2022 for the third year in a row. Duron became the first line-of-duty death for the Fowler Police Department.
The 46-year-old left behind a wife and four children and was the sole provider for his family.
Local business owner Talene Kasparian-Cleveland said that in the toughest times, their small community always rallies together in a big way.
“His family should rest knowing he did a lot for our town, and this is how we should repay him,” Kasparian-Cleveland said.