NEWMAN - A candlelight vigil for fallen Newman Police Corporal Ronil Singh will be held Thursday evening, Dec. 26, on the one-year anniversary of his death.

Singh, working Christmas night 2018, was shot and killed during the traffic stop of a suspected drunken driver at Merced Street and Eucalyptus Avenue.

Singh was a beloved officer among police department ranks and well-liked through the community as a whole, known for his broad smile and easy-going nature.

His murder shook the community to its core. Corporal Singh’s story - that of an immigrant who worked relentlessly to realize his dream of coming to America and becoming a police officer who that fateful Christmas night left his wife and young son to patrol the streets of Newman - struck a chord across the nation and around the globe, prompting in an outpouring of support.

Locally, a number of tributes to the fallen officer and fund-raising benefits for his family have been held throughout the year.

On Dec. 26, the community will pause once again to remember a fallen hero.

Organizer Alicia Mendoza, the city’s community liaison, said the candlelight vigil will begin at 6 p.m. in the downtown plaza. After a brief program and balloon release at the plaza, those attending are invited to take part in a procession to the scene at Merced and Eucalyptus, where a special commemoration is planned.

“This is an evening to remember and to come together in honor of Ronil,” Mendoza reflected. “We want to assure Ronil’s family that he will always be remembered, and show our support for the family and the police department.”

In addition to City Hall staff, Mendoza said, those involved in organizing the vigil include the Newman Police Department, Blue Line Wives and DW61 Foundation (founded in memory of Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Deputy Dennis Wallace, who was killed in the line of duty in 2016).

Volunteers are still needed for the event, Mendoza noted. Those interested in helping may contact Mendoza at 862-3725 or by email at amendoza@cityofnewman.com.

Police Chief Randy Richardson said the vigil is one further example of the support West Side communities have shown for the Singh family and local police during the past year. “I am thrilled that the community will get a chance to come together. We are honored that it is happening,” Richardson commented. “Through the entire year the community has been amazing. He has not been forgotten.”

The community’s downtown plaza Christmas trees are adorned with blue-themed decorations this holiday season in still another show of support.

Richardson, during the Dec. 10 Newman City Council, expressed his appreciation on the part of the department.

“It means a lot to our department,” Richardson said of the gesture. “It didn’t go unnoticed.”