City of Palmdale's Coronavirus Update – 5/14/20

Palmdale City Manager JJ Murphy and Mayor Steve Hofbauer bring you up to date with today's COVID-19 presentation:

Palmdale City Manager J.J. Murphy with your May 14th COVID-19 update.

Today I want to take time to recognize a group of our COVID-19 front line responders – our Peace Officers.

Under normal circumstances, this week would be filled with special ceremonies recognizing Peace Officers for their many sacrifices. In fact, Friday, May 15 is officially Peace Officers Memorial Day. However, the Safer at Home orders have caused most of these ceremonies to be cancelled, which is most unfortunate as we would like to honor them now, more than ever, as they are on the front lines during this pandemic.

With proper physical distancing and safety protocols in place, the City of Palmdale will hold a brief ceremony this Friday, May 15th at 8:45 am at the flagpole in Poncitlán Square here at City Hall. In honor of their memory and ultimate sacrifice, we will read the names of those Peace Officers from the Antelope Valley who died in the line of duty and thank those who are serving us today.

Because of the current State and County health orders, we are limiting participation in the observation to the event organizers. People are encouraged to either attend virtually by watching the ceremony on Facebook at City of Palmdale - Government, or by remaining in their vehicles or at a safe distance away from the flagpole while wearing facial coverings. You are also invited to decorate your vehicle with blue ribbons, peace officer flags, or by bringing signs of thanks to display.

We’re also encouraging people to submit the names of peace officers they would like to have recognized by emailing the names to the e-mail you see on your screen:

Now here’s Mayor Hofbauer to give you a background of how Peace Officers Memorial Day came to be.

Mayor Steve Hofbauer:

Thanks, JJ. On October 1, 1961, Congress asked President John F. Kennedy to designate May 15th as a day to honor peace officers. President Kennedy declared Peace Officers Memorial Day on October 1, 1962.

Since then, every May 15th is designated as Peace Officers Memorial Day, paying tribute to local, state, and federal law enforcement officers who have made the ultimate sacrifice or been injured in the line of duty. The day honors fallen LEO across the nation and offers support to their surviving family members and officers. The observance takes place during Police Week.

According to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, more than 800,000 law enforcement officers serve in the United States today. Each year, the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial adds new names to the wall, on average 163 deaths per year. Fallen law enforcement officers represent all levels of law enforcement, including local, state, federal, tribal, and military law enforcement. They are our family members, husbands, wives, parents, sons, and daughters.

In 1994, President Bill Clinton made an amendment through Public Law 103-322 that directed the United States flag to be flown at half-staff on May 15th in honor of the day.

These are uncertain times, but what remains certain is our unwavering support for law enforcement.

Now, we have some positive news as the LA County Department Health Officer has just updated its Safer at Home order. It allows for lower-risk businesses and select recreational facilities to reopen. All retailers that are not located in an indoor mall or shopping center are able to reopen for curbside, door-side, outside pickup, or delivery only. The public is not allowed to go inside. Manufacturing and logistic businesses that supply retail businesses may also reopen. You can read the full order on the County’s website,

Over a week ago, the City of Palmdale presented a safe and sensible plan to the County for our reopening. We made the case that here in the Antelope Valley we have a different situation that the LA Basin. We are far less dense. We don’t have a much public transit as we’re not a major city. We have built in social distancing.

Since then the cities of Santa Clarita and Lancaster have also expressed the same concerns. We are in contact with them about forming a North County Coalition to present our ideas for a measured and safe opening. We’ll keep you posted.

Thanks for watching. Please keep washing your hands and covering your face. Stay home if you are sick. And remember, #PalmdaleCares about you.