Billy Bean, Jr.
A native of Colfax, Officer William Chandler Bean, Jr. gave his life in the line of duty as a Sacramento police officer on February 9,1999 during a traffic stop. He is memorialized as a public servant deserving commemoration by a sign bearing his name on Hwy. 174 between Grass Valley and Interstate 80.
Officer Bean graduated from Colfax High in 1989, where he lettered in three varsity sports and later coached football. He attended West Point, then the University of California, Davis, playing football for the Aggies.
Officer Bean served the Placer County Sheriff's Department from 1991 through 1995, then joined the Sacramento Police Department until his passing in 1999. Bean is remembered as a determined, energetic, positive influence, with a huge heart. He loved kids and was engaged to be married at the time of his passing.
Approximately 5,000 fellow officers, state and local dignitaries, and friends attended Officer Bean's funeral service, which lasted over three hours. Governor Gray Davis called him "a genuine American hero" and Sacramento Mayor Joe Serna Jr. offered his condolences as they presented flags to his parents. His mother, Kim Toms, says, "Billy didn't die in vain. I'm awfully proud of my son. Going into the police department and serving America...what more could a parent ask?”