Spotlight: A Message from Palm Springs Police Chief Bryan Reyes

In light of the recent tragic deaths of Palm Springs police officers, Gil Vega and Lesley Zerebyn, fatally shot on October 8th, today’s Spotlight includes a very special message from Palm Springs Police Chief Bryan Reyes. The two officers were shot through a closed front door as they tried to get a man to step out of a home following a disturbance call. Vega, a 63-year-old father of eight, had served as a police officer for 35 years and was slated to retire in December. Zerebny, a 27-year-old, had just returned from maternity leave. If you would like to make a donation to assist the families of the fallen officers, please visit the police department website at In Sympathy, Kate

A Message from Palm Springs Police Chief Bryan Reyes 

Officers Jose Gilbert Vega, left, and Lesley Zerebny
Officers Jose Gilbert Vega, left, and Lesley Zerebny

Dear Palm Springs Residents and friends of Palm Springs,

Just recently we paid tribute and laid to rest our fallen Palm Springs police heroes, Gil Vega and Lesley Zerebny, at the Palm Springs Convention Center in what was truly a memorable gathering of our entire community and law enforcement from all over the nation to honor two outstanding officers taken from their families and their family at PSPD way too soon.

I want to take this time now to thank our incredible Palm Springs community for the phenomenal outpouring of support you have shown to both the families of our slain officers – and the brave men and women in our Palm Springs Police Department who put their lives on the line each and every day to serve and protect you.

This has been a very difficult time for our local community and our PSPD officers. The department has not experienced the loss of one of our own in over 50 years – and we had hoped it would never happen again. Your emails, notes of condolences and the beautiful memorial in front of our police headquarters helped the families of these officers and our own family at the PSPD tremendously. Not to mention, since this tragedy occurred, the Palm Springs Police Officers Association has experienced an onslaught of donations to assist the families during this dark time.

The two officers, although on the opposite end of their careers, were the epitome of a Palm Springs police officer. Both were caring professionals who had the community’s best interest at heart. Officer Gil Vega had almost 35 years of law enforcement experience in PalmSprings. He was a kind, compassionate, generous officer who looked after the community as if it were his own family. Officer Lesley Zerebny came from a law enforcement family. She was a bright, hard-working, ambitious, and compassionate officer who strove to set an example of the finest police officer.

It is therefore with a multitude of emotions that we continue to move through this tragedy as a community united together in commitment never to forget our fallen officers Vega and Zerebny who paid the ultimate sacrifice to protect and defend this beautiful city we are so proud to call home.

Again, a heartfelt thank you to local law enforcement and the residents and visitors of Palm Springs and beyond who have reached out to show their overwhelming support for our men and women in blue. It means the world to us! You’ve heard it many times before, Palm Springs truly is “like no place else.”

If you would like to make a donation to assist the families of our fallen officers, please visit the police department on the web at

Bryan Reyes,
Palm Springs Police Chief

About David J Castello

David J Castello is the Editor-in-Chief and Chief Operating Officer for the Castello Cities Internet Network (,,, etc). His debut novel, The Diary of an Immortal (1945-1959) was published in 2016.

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