By Terri Jo Neff |
May 15 was National Peace Officers Memorial Day, which saw 619 names of officers killed in the line of duty across the country added to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington D.C. Among the names were 472 officers who died in 2021, including 319 fatalities from COVID-19 which were determined to be related to the performance of duty.
In Arizona, 26 law enforcement officers died last year in the line of duty. On May 2, Gov. Doug Ducey joined with the families, friends, and co-workers of the fallen to pay tribute to the sacrifices of those public safety professionals during a service at the Arizona Peace Officers Memorial located at the State Capitol.
Ducey read the names of the officers during the memorial service:
- Chandler Police Officer Tyler Britt, End of Watch: Jan. 11, 2021
- ASU Officer Joseph Henry Montgomery, EOW: Jan. 14, 2021
- U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officer Byron Don Shields, EOW: Jan. 20, 2021
- FBI Special Agent Jimmie John Daniels, EOW: Feb. 1, 2021
- Maricopa County Juvenile Probation Officer John A. Gilbert, EOW: Feb. 21, 2021
- Chandler Police Officer Christopher Farrar, EOW: April 30, 2021
- Nogales Police Officer Jeremy Brinton, EOW: May 21, 2021
- Phoenix Police Officer Ginarro A. New, EOW: May 31, 2021
- U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officer Ruben Facio, EOW: July 17, 2021
- U.S. Border Patrol Supervisory Agent Daniel P. Cox, EOW: July 31, 2021
- Phoenix Police Officer Mathew A. Hefter, EOW: August 7, 2021
- Maricopa County Sheriff’s Detention Officer Alicia Dawn Carter, EOW: Aug. 9, 2021
- U.S Border Patrol Agent Chad E. McBroom, EOW: Aug. 29, 2021
- Phoenix Police Sgt. Thomas Crawford Craig, EOW: Sept. 3, 2021
- Maricopa County Sheriff’s Detention Officer Kendall Thomas, EOW: Sept. 10, 2021
- Phoenix Police Officer Phillip Vavrinec, Jr., EOW: Sept. 22, 2021
- U.S. Border Patrol Agent Luis “Louie” Dominguez, EOW: Sept. 23, 2021
- U.S. Border Patrol Agent Alfredo Ibarra, EOW: Sept. 27, 2021
- U.S. DEA Group Supervisor Michael G. Garbo, EOW: Oct. 4, 2021
- Mohave County Sheriff’s Detention Officer Anthony Nicoletti, EOW: Oct. 11, 2021
- La Paz Sheriff’s Sgt. Michael D. Rudd, EOW: Oct. 11, 2021
- Maricopa County Sheriff’s Deputy Juan Miguel “Johnny” Ruiz, EOW: Oct. 11, 2021
- U.S. Border Patrol Supervisory Agent Anibal Antonio Perez, EOW: Nov. 5, 2021
- Maricopa County Sheriff’s Lieut. Chad Brackman, EOW: Nov. 10, 2021
- U.S. Border Patrol Supervisor Agent Martin Barrios, EOW: Nov. 29, 2021
- Chandler Police Officer Jeremy Wilkins, EOW: Dec. 17, 2021
Each year, the names of officers who have perished while serving in the line of duty are engraved into the Memorial and honored during a service where family, friends, and colleagues of fallen officers gather to pay their respects. Among the 2021 deaths are several caused by COVID-19, according to the Arizona Attorney General’s Office.
A total of 388 names are engraved into one of eight double-sided granite panels surrounding the iconic bronze statue, with the earliest known line of duty death in Arizona being Yuma County Sheriff Cornelius “Corney” Sage, who was attacked and killed in May 1865 while traveling to Prescott on county business.
Members of the Arizona Peace Officers Memorial board are John Stevens for Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich (chairman); Deston Coleman for Col. Heston Silbert of Arizona Department of Public Safety; Director David Shinn of Arizona Department of Corrections; Andrew T. LeFevre for the Arizona Criminal Justice Commission; John Stair of the Arizona Probation Officer Association (vice-chairman); Jaime Escobedo, Peace Officer Memorial Board Historian; Graham County Sheriff P.J. Allred; Captain Lynn Ideus for the Arizona Fraternal Order of Police; Jeffrey Hawkins for Arizona State Troopers Association; Prescott Police Chief Amy Bonney; Ron Young (Business Community representative); W. Steven Martin (Business Community representative); Rick Davis, Survivor Member; and Jan Blaser-Upchurch, Survivor.