Family, Friends & Fellow Officers Remember...

Corrections Officer Manuel Ariza Gonzalez, Jr.

California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, California

End of Watch Monday, January 10, 2005

Leave a Reflection

Reflections for Corrections Officer Manuel Ariza Gonzalez, Jr.



September 3, 2006

You gave your life walking a very tough beat. Walking a beat surrounded by felons would be enough for most people to run away in fear, but you did what you had to do and what all of us thank you for. Officer Gonzalez, we'll take it from there and continue protecting. Thank you for your fearlessness and kindness. Rest in Peace our BROTHER.

Officer J.E. Wright
California Department of Corrections

August 24, 2006

Officer McGuinn,

What would the average citizen say if it were proposed that Police Officers be assigned to a neighborhood which was inhabited by no one but criminals and those Officers would be unarmed, patrol on foot and be heavily outnumbered ? I wager that the overwhelming public response would be that the Officers would have to be crazy to accept such an assignment. However, as you read this, such a scenario is being played out in all areas of the country. We are Correctional Officers, not Guards(Who are people that watch school crossings). We work at minimum, medium and maximum security Correctional Facilities. We are empowered by the State to Enforce its Penal Laws,Rules and Regulations of the Department of Corrections. In Short, we are Policemen. Our beat is totally inhabited by convicted felons who, by definition, are people who tend to break laws, rules and regulations. We are outnumbered by as many as 100 to 1 at various times of our workday and, contrary to popular belief, we work without a sidearm. In short, our necks are on the line every minute of every day. A Correctional Facility is a very misunderstood environment. The average person has very little knowledge of its workings. Society sends its criminals to Correctional Facilities and, as time passes, each criminal's crime fades from memory until the collective prison population becomes a horde of bad people being warehoused away from decent society in a place where they can cause no futher harm. There is also the notion that prison inmates cease to be a problem when they are incarcerated. Correctional Facilities are full of violence perpetrated by the prison population against the prison population and facility staff, Felonies are committed daily but are rarely reported. They are called "unusual incidents" and rarely in criminal prosecution. Discipline is handled internally and, as a rule, the public is rarely informend of these crimes. In the course of maintaining order in these facilities, many Officers have endured the humiliation of having urine and feces thrown at them. Uncounted Correctional Officers have been kicked, bitten, stabbed and slashed with home made weapons; taken hostage; murdered; and even raped in the line of duty, all while being legally mandated to maintain their professional composure and refraining from any retaliation which could be the basis for dismissal from service. In addition to these obvious dangers, Correctional Officers face hidden dangers in the form of AIDS, Tuberculosis or Hepatitis B and C. Courts are now imposing longer sentences and the prison population is increasing far beyond the system's designated capacity. As the public demands more police on the street, governments everywhere are cutting police in prison where violence reins supreme, jeopardizing all those working behind prison walls. Although you will never see us on "Top Cops" we are Law Enforcement Professionals. We are the "FORGOTTEN COP," hidden from public view, doing a dangerous beat, hoping someday to receive the respect and approval from the public whom "WE SILENTLY SERVE"


Correctional Officer/Sister
California Department Of Corrections

August 1, 2006

May God keep you in his arms forever, for we know that you are definitely up there watching down on all of us. It was a long time ago when we met in LA, but you will always be in our hearts and minds. Your job is definitely one of the hardest and most dangerous in law enforcement and you were brave enough to take it on. GOD BLESS YOU. Margie, cousin to your wife, Sylvia.

Margie Ortiz Rogers

June 15, 2006

Just wanted to say, YOU & JERRY are always on MY mind & will always be in MY prayers. I also want to say on the B-DAY of YOUR oldest thanks for a good nephew & HE is a GREAT GOD FATHER to MY Daughter."HAPPY B-DAY MARK" & keep an eye on YOUR MOM, Brothers & Sisters. You know YOUR DAD would want it that way.


June 1, 2006

Manuel may you rest in peace you will be missed


May 30, 2006

R.I.P. Officer Gonzalez. Thank you for service. You will never be forgotten.

El Paso County Sheriff (CO)

May 20, 2006

We walk the toughest beat and do a job that most others wouldn't do. When you fell we all fell. We walk around acting fearless but, we all know in a blink of an eye something life changing could happen. Thank you for your courage,a job well done. Our greatest achievement in life is to serve others. You gave the ultimate sacrifice and all that worked with you will keep you in our hearts forever. I'll always remember the tooth pick in your mouth. May God continue to bless your family.

Correctional Officer Jeff White
C.I.M. C.D.C

May 10, 2006

We will be in Washington with honor and respect to hear your name read.

Linda Rittenhouse, Matt's Mom
Matthew Rittenhouse EOW 9/16/04

Linda Rittenhouse

May 1, 2006

My uncle was one ever.

Joey martinez
Son of Jose A martinez His primo


March 31, 2006

To Correctional Officer Manuel Gonzales and his loved ones:

On this the fourteenth month after your tragic death, please know that your memory is honored and revered today.

My heart is still with your family and I look forward to meeting them in Sacramento and/or D.C. You’re all in our thoughts and our prayers.

Manuel, you are one of the rare heroes among us. Your selflessness and dedication are awe-inspiring.

This world, this country, your community truly are better places because of you. To have lost you is a great tragedy, an irreplaceable, immeasurable loss for society. We are grateful for and to you, and honor you for all you did for us day in and day out whether you received a word of thanks or praise.

Rest in Peace, Correctional Officer Manuel Gonzales. I am so humbled by your valor and courage.

This reflection is sent with the utmost respect for the distinquished service Manuel gave to his community and the citizens of Califonia, and for the supreme sacrifice he and his family made on January 10, 2005.

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

March 9, 2006


We will miss you dearly and pray that God takes care of your family. Every CO who walks his beat in the prison hears and feels your presence while always wondering if we may see you sooner than we would like. RIP Brother.

Correctional Officer Steven Redondo
Texas Dept. of Corrections

February 26, 2006

God Bless you and your family.RIP Brother.

Police Officer William D. Mosher
Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department

February 5, 2006

Manuel tragically you were taken away from your family and friends one year ago today. You will always be in our prayers. You will be proud of your children. You are missed by all. God Bless You.

claudia santa anna, sister in law
and sister of L.A. County Deputy Jerry Ortiz e.o.w 06/24/2005

January 10, 2006

Please know that your sacrifice has not been forgotten as we acknowledge the one year anniversary of your tragic death. May you always be remembered as a hero.

Linda Lamm - LEO Wife and Sister of
Jay Balchunas EOW 11.05.04

January 10, 2006

Officer - your family - friends & co-workers are in my thoughts & prayers as they honor you on the 1 yr. anniversary of your tragic death..continue to watch over them & your fellow brothers/sisters in blue..YOU ARE GONE..BUT NEVER FORGOTTEN..REST IN PEACE & WITH EASE BLUE ANGEL!!!!

girlfriend of a dpd
detroit, mi

January 10, 2006

On this first anniversary of your death, I write with deep respect for the job you did and the sacrifice you made. You are not forgotten. May you rest in God's loving arms and know the peace which surpasses all understanding. May God bless your family and keep them safe.
Mary Kay Balchunas
Mother of Jay Balchunas, EOW 11/5/04

January 9, 2006

MANUEL,it's hard to belive that 1 year ago you lost your life. I just wanted to let you know you & MY BRO. DEPUTY ORTIZ are still in our prayers.

L.A. Co. PROB.

January 9, 2006

Wanted to leave a reflection to say you are a true hero and have not been forgotten. I spent over 30 years as a police officer and always had the highest respect for Corrections Officers because of their job. It takes allot of courage to be working in the environment that you worked in. Keep watch over your family and help them with their grief. There are no words I can offer to comfort their broken hearts except that you are a true hero.

Bob Gordon, father of fallen officer Michael P. Gordon, EOW: 8/8/04

Bob Gordon

January 9, 2006

My Brother in Heaven,

I would like to wish you a Very Happy New Year. Thanks for watching over us as we walk the toughest beat in the State. Tell my partner that we all miss him at work and miss the way he made the Job Laughable. God Bless

Correctional Officer/Sister in Green
California Department Of Corrections

December 31, 2005



December 21, 2005

The limits of life can seem daunting at times. Tying us down, confining our parts. But the power of love breaks free of all bounds. Making kings of us all through the strength in our hearts.

God bless you and your family. Your love for them and the memories of your life will give them the strength to go on. Thank you for your sacrifice, your service is appreciated.

Officer L. Bynum
Oklahoma Department of Corrections

December 12, 2005

Brother Gonzalez,

May the road rise up to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back,
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
And the rains fall soft upon your fields,
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

You’re Brothers in Blue

Untouchables Law Enforcement Motorcycle

December 2, 2005


We think of you and your family during these holidays, and offer thoughts and prayers as you celebrate without your loved one. Cherish the memories of the past and be open to new ones with your loved ones and friends. Your loved one will never be forgotten and always honored for their sacrifice.

Alissa Scott
Widow of Wayne Scott
E.O.W. 09-10-02

Lisa Schultz
Widow of Don Schultz
E.O.W. 05-12-03

Co-Founders of Survivor Help Network

November 29, 2005

It's true...
A C/O's beat is the toughest. To be "fair, firm, and consistant" while being spit on, assaulted, insulted, and berated. It's not an easy balance to keep. Still, we perservere, continue on, walk the beat with our heads held high. We know what we are doing is right. We know that we can wear that heavy badge with HONOR, VALOR, and COURAGE. We know the risks we take when that door slams sut behind us. And we are so greatful when we can open that door again after our watch ends for the day. That's not to say we hate our jobs. We just respect the mortality that hides in every inmate's hand, pocket, or anywhere else he can hide a weapon. When that door opens at the end of the day's watch, we can go home to our families. But each day holds a new danger as we walk our beat. Every C/O has the same tiny thought at the back of their minds: "Will I be walking out that door at the end of my watch?". The answer is uncertain, of course. But whenever a C/O asks himself that question, the answer is, "I don't know, but I'm going to try my hardest to make sure I do!".
I'm sure that C/O Gonzalez made every effort humanly possible to fight back his cowardly attacker. He understood the risk and danger inherant in this honorable profession. Tragically, he made the ultimate sacrifice.
To his family: All I can say is Manuel is a man of honor and valor, and will never be forgotten.
To Manuel: Your watch is over, brother. The burden of the badge has been lifted. The door is unlocked and you have stepped through. Please, don't shut it. We'll all walk through that door to stand at attention with you. Just not now. Rest at peace with honor. We've got the watch now.

Corrections Officer
Snohomish County Corrections (WA)

November 21, 2005

Want even more control of your Reflection? Create a free ODMP account now for these benefits:

  • Quick access to your heroes
  • Reflections published quicker
  • Save a Reflection signature
  • View, edit or delete any Reflection you've left in the past

Create an account for more options, or use this form to leave a Reflection now.