Onlookers Save DPD Memorial Items from the Rain

Hundreds of items left in memory of the five police officers killed in Downtown Dallas are safe and secure, thanks to the fast action of people visiting the memorial Friday morning.

As storms moved through the Dallas-Fort Worth area Friday, it became clear that rain would soon fall over Dallas Police Headquarters, where for days a memorial of keepsakes and gifts has grown on top of and around two police cruisers parked out front.

While the flowers left in memory are slowly wilting away, many of the other items left behind by mourners are being considered pieces of history surrounding that dark Thursday night.

Jo Giudice, director of the Dallas Public Library, brought her entire team to the memorial to begin moving items inside the Police Department before the rain poured down.

Quickly, volunteers from the American Red Cross and Dallas Police Association joined the effort, as did officers from inside the building, and random people simply passing by the memorial.

"It was just a swarm of people that were out here,” said Crystal Shaklee, one of the volunteers.

"Everybody – even people who were just standing there – started helping," added volunteer Genevieve Juarez.

By the time the rain started pouring down, all of the non-perishable items on the memorial were already safely in the building or covered with plastic.

"We got everything," said Giudice. "We got the notes, we got the letters, we got every handwritten card, every patch, every tee-shirt, every stuffed animal."

Giudice and her team had originally planned to move those items from the memorial this Sunday, but since they were already there, they loaded them into a truck early and moved them Friday to the public library.

There, the items will be professionally preserved and archived along with memories from other key moments in Dallas history such as the John F. Kennedy assassination.

"The police protect us, and the librarians, we collect stuff. So we're going to preserve the history for the future," said Giudice.

The remainder of the memorial is set to be removed on Sunday.

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