For years, Vallejo Police Officer James Caput did his best to monitor and protect Vallejo’s streets. Now, 10 years after his death in the line of duty, he is officially on the streets.
On Tuesday, Oklahoma City Street on Mary Island was officially christened James Kaputa Street, just months after Vallejo City Council unanimously voted in favor of the change.
Members of the Kaputa family were given street signs with the name of Kaputa at a ceremony in honor of Kaputa, who was killed in pursuit of a suspect in a bank robbery on November 17, 2011.
“It’s always nice to be here, as well as with a lot of his family and Marine friends,” Capuchin daughter Justin McKenna told the Times-Herald. “When I agreed to perform today, I didn’t think so many people would come out. But that’s how he lived his life – it affected so many people. “
A longtime Vallejo officer has been a mainstay in the Vallejo community for decades, serving as a motorcycle officer, motorcycle instructor, driving instructor and special forces officer. He received two medals for bravery PD Vallejo, one medal for saving lives and countless other awards of the department.
In 2000, Kaput received the Officer of the Year award.
Caputo’s commitment to the community reached athletics, where he coached the Vallejo High School basketball team at the 2010 Sak-Joaquin Section Championship. Kaput was inducted into the Vallejo Sports Hall of Fame in 2015.
“I was one of the officers who showed him when he started,” retired VPD officer John Eman said recently. “My first impression of him was that he was uniform, that he looked like Superman and that he was invincible. I can still hear him calling down the hall, “Hey, Johnny! How are you? ‘
“I can’t say enough good things about Jim Caput.”
James Kaputa Street intersects with a street named after another murdered Vallejo police officer, Jeffrey Azuara. It is also right in front of the spot where Kaput was enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in 1985.
Many of Kaputa’s Marine friends were on hand to honor him. TJ O’Connor gave a speech that made the crowd laugh.
“It may look like a dorm room, but for us we lived here, ate here and made lifelong friends here,” O’Connor said. “I used to make fun of people a little bit, and I asked him, ‘What’s Jim Caput’s name (pressing t)?’ He replied, “First of all, it’s James Caput (no accent at all) and he’s from Arkansas (heavy southern accent).” From that moment on, I knew we couldn’t mess with this man – we became best friends from that moment on. “
Also speaking were Vallejo Police Chief Shawnee Williams, Vallejo Police Officer Jason Potts, Board Member Pippin Dew and McKenna.
“He was here when he met my mom from Vallejo, and he ended up hugging Vallejo and never leaving,” McKenna said. “I’ve heard stories of how he spent his whole life here all my life, so I know he would be extremely proud. It would be a great honor for him to learn that it intersects with Azure Drive. I want us all to find a moment this week during National Police Officers Week to thank police officers, activists or retirees, for their daily sacrifices for the safety of our communities.
“Thank you for continuing to appear,” McKenna continued. “Not only for mom and my sisters, but also for my dad. God, I’m shaking. I believe that showing support is a direct reflection of how my dad lived. If you’ve had the pleasure of knowing my dad, which is a lot of people, you know it’s true. If you haven’t had the pleasure of knowing my dad and you’re still here, right now, over 10 years later on Random Tuesday, then I think it’s an even deeper reflection because he had a way of influencing life even after it taken away. “
Every day Williams says he goes to the Vallejo police station and looks at a portrait of Kaputa.
“I think and remember that every day I have to give my best to match the example of Jim’s leadership and courage,” Williams said. “You know, every day is Remembrance Day for me. Every day I wear a uniform, I do it in memory of the people who came to me. Jim demonstrated greatness, dedication and courage. He was a loving husband, father, coach and friend. He devotedly, resolutely and disciplinedly served his country, society and the police family. By all accounts, Jim was an amazing man who was very possessive.
“You see, it wasn’t how Jim died that made him a hero. That’s how he lived. “
Retired officer Carl Tatum, a Kaput field training officer, recalls the joy and devotion Kaput brought to his coaches.
“He was so excited to coach these girls,” the Tatum told the Times-Herald last year. “He ran out of action (daily instruction of officers) and got into the car. I would say, “Jim, why did you run out of stock?” and he said, “I have to make sure the girls went to school on time. Many do not have attractions.
Potts also said Kaputa will never be forgotten.
“You were always right. The pain is temporary, the pride is forever, ”Potts said. “We love you, brother.”