Family, Friends & Fellow Officers Remember...

Deputy Sheriff Mark Steven Tonkin

Orange County Sheriff's Department, California

End of Watch Monday, October 24, 1988

Leave a Reflection

Reflections for Deputy Sheriff Mark Steven Tonkin

Deputy Sheriff Tonkin,
On today, the 30th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for the citizens of Orange County. And to your Family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.


United States Border Patrol

October 24, 2018

Rest In Peace Brother. Thank you for your service and sacrifice.

Officer Mike Robinson, (Ret)
Upland Police Dept. CA

October 24, 2017

God Speed, Brother.

P.O. K.Murphy
Union PD, NJ

October 25, 2014

"Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God."
Matthew 5:9

Marshal Chris Di Gerolamo
Federal Air Marshal Service

October 25, 2014

Rest in peace and Olav Hashalom Deputy Sheriff Tonkin.

Rabbi Lewis S. Davis

October 7, 2012

I valued the guidance Mark gave me as an Explorer and later as a member of the Department. He had a great sense of humor and made sure I learned something when I worked with him. He was a great Deputy Sheriff and person.

jeffrey Williams
Orange County Sheriff, Ca

September 24, 2012

Mark- you were a terrific police officer and a special person. I often reflect on those fun times in North Patrol, hookin' and bookin'. You and Threlkeld were my mentors. Take care buddy.

Sean Murphy
Retired OCSD Investigator

February 11, 2012

Rest in Peace, Deputy Tonkin. Your sacrifice is not forgotten.

Officer 11169

January 19, 2012

I am sorry that I lost touch with Mark. We played little league baseball when we were 11 and I will never forget what a great player Mark was. I do not think I had heard from him since those days on the baseball field but I always considered him a friend. I was shocked to hear about his passing but I am sure that he was a great son, husband and friend to many.

Scott Chaffin

November 24, 2011

I didn't get to be around Mark much when we were growing up since we lived so far away from eachother. When we would visit it always made an impressing on me of how much Mark was loved by his mom and dad. On this Father's Day I want to honor Mark by giving honor to his parents and the great influence they had on his life.

Janet Tonkin
Cousin of Mark

June 19, 2011

I didn't get to see Mark much growing up because I was his cousin that lived so far away. One thing that impressed me, though, was how much his parents loved him. On this Father's Day I remember Mark and how he had said, "I had a great childhood." We continue to miss him but honor his life well-lived. Mark was an honor to his parents.

Janet Tonkin
Cousin of Mark

June 19, 2011

The Badge"

He starts his shift each day
To respond to calls unknown.
He drives a marked patrol car.
A police officer he is known.

He's paid by the citizens' taxes
To make it safe on the streets.
But he usually has a second job
'Cause a waitress has his salary beat.

Now he doesn't know a holiday
'Cause he works all year round.
And when Thanksgiving and Christmas finally arrive
At his home he cannot be found.

He's cursed and assaulted often,
The one whos blood runs blue.
He seldom ever gets a thanks,
To some he's just a fool.

His friends are always other cops
'Cause people just don't understand
That underneath his badge and gun,
He's just another man.

He knows there might not be a tomorrow
In this world of drugs and crime.
And he gets so mad at the court system
'Cause the crooks don't get any time.

And each day when he leaves for work,
He prays to God above.
Please bring me home after my shift
So I can see the ones I love.

But tonight he stops a speeding car,
He's alone down this ole' highway.
It's just a little traffic infraction.
He does it everyday.

Well, he walks up to the driver's window,
And his badge is shining bright.
He asked the guy for a driver's license,
When a shot rang through the night.

Yes, the bullet hit its mark,
Striking the officer in the chest.
But the Department's budget didn't buy
Each officer a bullet-proof vest.

So he lay on the ground bleeding.
His blood wasn't blue - His blood was red.
And briefly he thought of his loved ones
'Cause in a moment the officer was dead.

In the news they told the story
Of how this officer had died.
And some who listened cared less,
But those who loved him cried.

Well, they buried him in uniform
With his badge pinned on his chest.
He even had his revolver,
He died doing his best.

Written By:
David L. Bell
Richland County Sheriff's Department
Columbia, South Carolina
Used with Special Permission of the Author
Copyright © 1999 - All Rights Reserved
and may not be duplicated without permission

Investigator David L Bell
Richland County Sheriff's Dept., Columbia, SC

December 1, 2007

You are remembered today and thank you Sir for your service


October 20, 2007

Thank you so much for the love you shared with so many. Not only your friends and family but also the dedicated men and women of the Orange County Sheriff's Department. Thank you for your years of service and you will be remembered with love always.

Carol Stuart

Mark's Cousin

May 20, 2006

To the family and friends of Deputy Mark Tonkin and his fellow deputies:

On behalf of our entire family, I wish to extend our sincerest condolences on the grievous loss you suffered when Deputy Tonkin was tragically killed in the helicopter crash seventeen years ago.

May you continue to be comforted by the caring and support of your law enforcement family, and other police survivors. Our family grieves with you and for you.

On this, the anniversary week of his death, his honor and valor is remembered.

This reflection is sent with the utmost respect for the many years of service Mark gave to his community and to his country, and for the supreme sacrifice he and his family made on October 24, 1988.

Phyllis Loya, mother of fallen officer Larry Lasater, Pittsburg PD eow 4/24/05

October 24, 2005

Mark - we worked 911/Dispatch back in the days when Deputies staffed the center. You were always upbeat, humorous, and quick with a smile. I appreciate the time you took to train me. Rest well, my friend.

Michael R Grimler
Former OCSD-R

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