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While the members of the San Bernadino Police Department Honor Guard sacrifice their own time and money to stand as a symbol of their community, hometown grocery chain Stater Bros. is making it a little easier for them to honor the fallen.
The group of officers volunteer to stand in for the police department and the city itself at funerals, memorial services, and other community events. While these volunteers usually pay for it all out of their own pockets, Stater Bros. Charities, a nonprofit backed by its parent company, is lending a hand by providing new badges and caps to the participating officers.
It's a small act of kindness that still means a lot, said Detective Dennis Houser of the San Bernardino Police Department’s Investigations Bureau.
Executive Chairman of Stater Bros. Markets Jack H. Brown said his family has a long history of supporting the local police, especially since his mother, Rose Brown, served 60 years in the department's reserves.
Back in 2005, "She retired as the longest-serving reserve police officer in the history of San Bernardino," Brown said. "She passed away at age 91 in 2011, and I want to continue our support of the great San Bernardino Police Department,” he added.
As the largest privately owned supermarket chain in southern California and the largest private employer in both San Bernardino and Riverside counties, Stater Bros. operates 169 stores and employs approximately 18,000.