Tree at San Jose hospital dedicated to fallen officer

Plaque placed in front of tree dedicated to fallen San Jose police Officer Michael Johnson at Regional Medical Center. (PHOTO: Tom Yamamoto/Regional Medical Center of San Jose)
Plaque placed in front of tree dedicated to fallen San Jose police Officer Michael Johnson at Regional Medical Center. (PHOTO: Tom Yamamoto/Regional Medical Center of San Jose)

SAN JOSE (BCN) — An annual celebration Thursday for emergency medical services partners at Regional Medical Center of San Jose included a special ceremony for fallen Officer Michael Johnson.

A Japanese maple tree was dedicated to Johnson outside of Regional Medical Center’s emergency room, hospital spokeswoman Bev Mikalonis said.

Johnson was shot and killed by an armed suspect while responding to a call for service on March 24. He was a San Jose police officer for 14 years and the 12th officer killed in the line of duty since the department was founded in 1849.

Mother and wife of fallen San Jose police Officer Michael Johnson receive a plaque during a special ceremony at Regional Medical Center. (PHOTO: Tom Yamamoto/Regional Medical Center of San Jose)
Mother and wife of fallen San Jose police Officer Michael Johnson receive a plaque during a special ceremony at Regional Medical Center. (PHOTO: Tom Yamamoto/Regional Medical Center of San Jose)

Hospital president and CEO Michael Johnson, who has no relation to the fallen officer, led the dedication and unveiled a bronze plaque placed on a rock in front of the tree.

The plaque reads, “We are forever grateful for the sacrifice you have made to protect and serve our community. To honor the life, strength, and bravery of Officer Johnson, this tree is planted in his memory.”

His mother, Katherine Decker, and wife, Nicole Johnson, attended the ceremony, where they were presented with a duplicate plaque, Mikalonis said.

The celebration at Regional Medical Center was held in appreciation of the hospital’s ONE TEAM, which Johnson was a part of as a police officer, Mikalonis said. ONE TEAM is a partnership between Regional Medical Center and the city’s police officers, firefighters, ambulance drivers and military personnel.

About 450 people attend the annual event, which includes a barbecue lunch cooked by the ONE TEAM. The event was held in conjunction with National EMS Week, which continues through Saturday.

Local officials at today’s event included San Jose City council members Magdalena Carrasco, Ash Kalra and Raul Peralez and police Chief Larry Esquivel.

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