In an early-evening ceremony on Friday, March 8, the bridge on North Pacific Street (over the beach area of the San Luis Rey River, south of Oceanside Harbor) was dedicated to the memory of Oceanside police officer Dan Bessant.
On the night of December 20, 2006, Officer Bessant was assisting a fellow officer with a traffic stop in the high-crime area of Mesa Margarita when he was fatally shot by a sniper. He died at Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla a short while later. He was 25.
Bessant was an Oceanside native and a three-year veteran of the Oceanside Police Department. Two gang-member suspects were arrested in this case, convicted of first-degree murder in 2009, and sentenced to life in prison without parole.
The dedication of the of Officer Bessant Memorial Bridge was attended by City of Oceanside officials, Oceanside police honor guard, members of Bessant’s family, and the general public.