In Memory of those Killed in the Line of Duty

Ceres Police Sergeant Howard K. Stevenson

On January 9th, 2005 the Ceres Police Department suffered its first in line of duty death when Sergeant Howard “Howie” Stevenson was shot and killed.

Sergeant Stevenson and other officers had responded to a liquor store on North Central Avenue to investigate reports of an armed male who was acting strangely. The first officer on the scene, Sgt. Sam Ryno, was shot and wounded by the suspect. Officer John King arrived and returned fire as he and another Officer pulled Sgt. Ryno to cover. Sergeant Stevenson arrived at the scene. He exited his patrol car from the opposite side of the store and immediately engaged the suspect, firing eight shots before being fatally shot himself. The suspect exchanged shots with responding officers before fleeing the scene. He was shot and killed approximately three hours later during a second shootout with police.

Sergeant Stevenson had served with the Ceres Police Department for 20 years. During his tenure, he served as a Patrol Officer, Field Training Officer, Detective and Range Master. At the time of his death, he was a Patrol Sergeant and SWAT Team Leader. Today his identification number, 143, is proudly displayed on the SWAT armored vehicle in his memory. His motto “We train, rain or shine” is still echoed in the halls of the police department.

Sergeant Stevenson left behind a wife, Kathy, and three children.

Stanislaus County Officers 

Killed in the Line of Duty



End of Watch

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Officer Earl Scott
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Sergeant Howard King Stevenson
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Officer Leo R. Volk, Jr.
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Officer Raymond Carl Willert
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Officer William R. Court
February 13, 1970
Deputy Bill J. Dickens
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Deputy Harold L. Thornton
Sheriff’s Department
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Officer Harold B. Harless
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October 17, 1965
Officer George Gustave Bredenberg, Jr
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November 4, 1949
Officer Joe Edward Kerley
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November 1, 1949
Officer Glenn Edwin Winans
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Officer Lavon B. New
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August 14, 1935

State and National Line of Duty Death Information

Officer Down Memorial Page