On Sept. 5, a seven-year veteran of the California Highway Patrol was shot and killed while conducting a routine traffic stop on Interstate 680. Thirty-seven-year-old Kenyon Youngstrom, who was assisting a fellow officer in stopping a car with an obscured license plate, tragically left behind a wife and four children.
Deaths like Youngstrom's render heavy hearts within the law enforcement clan. The loss of a fellow officer also serves as an instant reminder of how frequent and close the brushes with danger are in the career that they have chosen.
It's a harsh reality, and one from which many law enforcement officers in Santa Cruz County have found escape -- if only for a short session -- through surfing.