NEWMAN - Community members, law enforcement officers and loved ones gathered Saturday to hold a vigil in remembrance of fallen Newman Police Department Cpl. Ronil Singh.

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 Dec. 26, 2018.

A series of speakers paid tribute to Singh and the legacy the K-9 officer leaves within the police department and community.

The beloved officer will not be forgotten, Police Chief Randy Richardson said in his remarks.

“He touched this community. He touched law enforcement. He changed my perspective on law enforcement,” reflected Richardson, who expressed his appreciation for the overwhelming show of support from the community and allied law enforcement agencies - many of whom were represented by K-9 officers in attendance at the vigil.

Singh’s widow Anamika and his brother Reggie Singh expressed their appreciation as well for what they described as “amazing” love and support shown their family in the wake of the tragedy.

Ra Pouv, a detective with the Modesto Police Department, spoke on behalf of the family.

Singh, he said, came to America in 2003 with the goal of becoming a police officer. He achieved that dream, and in joining the Newman Police Department found an agency and community that he loved, Pouv shared.

“He did not want to do anything besides being a police officer and serving the people in his community,” Pouv commented. “Two years ago, on this date and at this location, Cpl. Ronil Singh was taken away from us. He was taken away from his beloved family. He was taken away from the community he loved to serve. I know first-hand that he loved serving this community.”

Newman Police Cpl. Edgar Lopez said Singh’s legacy will always be ingrained in the department and community.

“We still go through the struggle of losing our brother. We miss him. We love him,” Lopez said. “We know when we are out there working a graveyard shift by our self, he is with us. He is our right hand man. We know he will guide us and keep us safe.”

At one point in the vigil, balloons were released to soar into the late afternoon sky as “Last Call,” a song paying tribute to fallen law enforcement officers, played.

Richardson, the police chief, urged community members to join law enforcement in continuing to remember the fallen hero.

“Please don’t ever forget the sacrifice that was made,” he urged, “the reason we are standing here today. Please help us all keep that memory alive.”