Group Apologizes to Aguirre’s Family


Ventura County’s Peace Officers Assn. on Friday extended a “heartfelt apology” to the family of slain county sheriff’s Deputy Peter John Aguirre Jr.

Family members said they felt snubbed two weeks ago when the organization failed to give the young deputy--killed last year in the line of duty--the Medal of Valor. In an association ceremony this month, however, Aguirre’s family members were given the newly created Distinguished Service Award in his honor.

But after the ceremony, Sheriff Larry Carpenter criticized the association for its decision not to give Aguirre the Medal of Valor for his courage and sacrifice, and Aguirre’s parents and widow ended up returning the award.


On Friday, association president Gino Rodriguez, an officer with the Oxnard Police Department, released a statement on behalf of the association apologizing for any pain the episode had caused the family.

The statement also assured family members that the association had wanted only to honor Aguirre with its “ultimate award for the ultimate sacrifice.”

On Wednesday, Aguirre again will be honored when his name is placed on the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department’s Peace Officers Memorial Monument.

The ceremony, scheduled to begin at 10 a.m., is the first of three observances planned to honor Aguirre and other peace officers who have fallen in the line of duty. The other ceremonies are planned for Sacramento on May 9 and Washington, D.C., on May 15.