The third anniversary of Newman Police Cpl. Ronil Singh’s death was marked with a somber ceremony Sunday with family, friends, community members and fellow law enforcement members in attendance.

“Every year I think it’s going to get easier and I’m wrong,” said Newman Police Chief Randy Richardson. “Not a day goes by that I don’t drive by this memorial and it hurts everytime. It’s hard not to get caught up in the negative of what happened that night, but I don’t think Ron would want that. I think Ron would want joy and happiness ... if we don’t remember the joy and the happiness that Ron brought to us while he was here, then we’re doing a disservice to the family and what he laid down his life for - his profession to make everyone safe.”

The vigil was held at a memorial near Merced Street and Eucalyptus Avenue, where Singh was shot and killed during an early-morning traffic stop of a suspected drunken driver on Dec. 26, 2018. 

Singh was born in Fiji and came to the United States to pursue his dream of becoming a police officer. Singh started his law enforcement career as a volunteer with the Modesto Police Department and then served as a cadet and animal service officer with the Turlock Police Department. He worked in Turlock from 2006 to 2010 and then joined the Merced County Sheriff’s Department as a deputy in 2010. He graduated Modesto Junior College in 2009 with a degree in criminal justice. Singh joined the Newman Police Department in 2011. 

Singh is survived by his wife Anamika and their young son, who was just 5-months-old at the time of Singh’s death.

Several of those that spoke at the memorial ceremony spoke about the impact Singh’s life and death have had on their lives.

“As a result of his death, I challenged myself more in life,” said Modesto Police detective Ra Pouv. “I challenged myself in a sense to be there for a friend, a neighbor, a co-worker, be there for my community and help each other the best way that I can and always find an opportunity to share.”

The ceremony concluded with a bouquet of blue star balloons being let go to drift off skyward.