The 17th Annual Arizona Department of Public Safety Fallen Officer Memorial
It is a yearly ceremony essential to our department, survivors and community. The 17th Annual Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS) Fallen Officer Memorial, hosted by the Arizona Highway Patrol Association (AHPA), was held on Monday May 4, 2015 at DPS’ main headquarters. Survivors, retired and current DPS employees, delegates and others paid tribute to those that paid the ultimate sacrifice.
Before the ceremony began, AHPA presented a personalized DPS yearbook to each surviving family. The name of each fallen officer was imprinted on the outside front cover, along with their picture and letter inside from the association..
The memorial program began with the presentation of colors, the U.S. National Anthem was performed by Allison Haughey, the spouse of DPS Officer Mark Haughey, and Chaplain Robert Kravitz followed with the invocation. AHPA President Jimmy Chavez opened the ceremony by welcoming the attendees and introduced Governor Doug Ducey. Governor Ducey, the son of a police officer, expressed gratitude to law enforcement and condolences to DPS’ survivors. DPS Director Milstead spoke of his history with the agency and the loss of officers he considered friends and co-workers. Additionally, Director Milstead acknowledged that under his administration survivors will never be forgotten.
The roll call of our 29 fallen heroes was announced by Dispatcher Emily Fraser. As each name was read, survivors were escorted by DPS Honor Guards to place a rose above their officer’s name on the memorial. A flyover was conducted after the conclusion of the roll call, followed by Taps and Amazing Grace.
AHPA President Jimmy Chavez concluded the ceremony by reminding the survivors that they are always a part of the DPS family. At the ceremony every year, AHPA recommits to never forgetting DPS’ fallen heroes and their survivors.
The association then hosted a luncheon at the Cedars Banquet Hall, where stories and memories about DPS’ fallen officers were exchanged.
AHPA thanks all the volunteers that helped make the memorial ceremony. The detail and talents from every person makes the ceremony memorable.
If you would like to know more about the history of the memorial or previous ceremonies, please visit our website at www.AHPA.com.
To Officers Past – A Tribute
To Officers Present – A Reminder
To Officers Yet to Come – A Legacy
42nd Annual Arizona Peace Officers Memorial Service
Flags flew at half-staff on Monday May 4, 2015 in observance of Arizona Peace Officers Memorial Day. Before the 42nd Annual Arizona Peace Officers Memorial Service began, survivors gathered for a reception. A “Table of Honor” was set to honor the officers who could not be at the event.
A precession brought the survivors over to the memorial. A multi-agency Honor Guard presented colors and invocation was given by Chaplain Ed Eddingfield from the Arizona Department of Public Safety. The National Anthem was sung by Phoenix Police Sergeant Vincent Lewis. Arizona Highway Patrol Association President and Peace Officer Memorial Board member Sergeant Jimmy Chavez welcomed everyone and introduced the speakers. Governor Doug Ducey, the son of a police officer, expressed gratitude to law enforcement and condolences to all the police survivors. Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich spoke of his support for the state memorial and acknowledged the dangers law enforcement face every day.
Arizona Department of Public Safety Captain Jaime Escobedo remembered his brother, fallen Arizona Game and Fish Wildlife Officer Esteven Ortiz Escobedo. His family lost their hero on January 4, 1994 when Officer Escobedo was killed when the helicopter he was riding in crashed after striking power lines. Captain Escobedo spoke of the loss and grief his family experienced and the support they received from colleagues and the community. It was a solemn reminder to all survivors that the law enforcement community will never forget a fallen officer.
Arizona Department of Public Safety Colonel Frank Milstead led the roll call of the Arizona officers the state lost in 2014. Officers honored at the 2015 ceremony:
Sergeant Brandon Mendoza
Mesa Police Department
End of Watch May 12, 2014
Officer Jair Cabrera
Salt River Police Department
End of Watch May 25, 2014
Agent Alexander Giannini
US Border Patrol
End of Watch May 28, 2014
Officer Bryant Holmes
Chandler Police Department
End of Watch October 28, 2014
Officer David Payne
Chandler Police Department
End of Watch October 31, 2014
Officer Ernesto Montoya
Navajo Department of Public Safety
End of Watch November 30, 2014
Officer Tyler Stewart
Flagstaff Police Department
End of Watch December 27, 2014
Tara Williams, Deanna D’Arcangelo and Amanda D’Arcangelo provided a special reading to honor their brother, Flagstaff Officer Tyler Stewart. The three sisters were followed by the traditional 21- Gun Salute, Echo taps, Amazing Grace, a helicopter fly-over and Last Call. Retired Arizona Department of Public Safety Detectives Andy Swann and Wes Ellington performed an original song dedicated to all fallen officers entitled We will Never Forget. Survivors turned on electronic blue lights acknowledging the officers Arizona has lost. The Retirement of Colors and Benediction concluded the ceremony.
The Arizona Highway Patrol Association is committed to support the state memorial and will never forget the sacrifices each fallen Arizona officer and their survivors have made.
View more photos from the event by clicking through the slideshow here:
Photos on behalf of DDIFotography (www.ddifotography.com)
National Police Week 2015
During the second week of May 2015, hundreds of Arizona law enforcement attended the National Police Week. The survivors of six Arizona officers traveled to honor and see their fallen officer’s name on the National Law Enforcement Memorial Wall. The Arizona Highway Patrol Association was honored to help send Sergeant Frank Stewart and his wife to National Police Week to honor their son, Flagstaff Officer Tyler Stewart.
National Police Week kicked off on May 12th with the inspiring arrivals of the Law Enforcement United and Police Unity Tour, two bike groups comprised of survivors of fallen officers and peace officers from all around the nation. Each rider rode to honor a fallen officer from 2014.
On May 13th, the annual Candlelight Vigil took place at the National Law Enforcement Memorial Wall, were tens of thousands honor all fallen officers and hear the roll call of the 273 names added to the wall. View the full roll call of names of the 273 fallen law enforcement heroes added to the Memorial year in 2015.
On May 14th, the Concerns of Police Survivors (C.O.P.S.) hosted a conference for all survivors, where they were able to find support from other survivors that lost their hero in similar circumstances. Agency heads were able to receive resources to better prepare themselves for a line of duty death and what support their departments can receive after the loss of an officer. Children were able to go to a camp that provided activities to honor their fallen father, mother or sibling and included a visit to the F.B.I. Academy. C.O.P.S. offered support to 900 survivors more than any other year in during National Police Week in 2015.
The National Peace Officers’ Memorial Service took place on May 15th on the Senate Lawn, where country singer Eric Church performed and President Barack Obama was the keynote speaker. A roll call took place for the 273 officers the nation lost in 2014, where after each name was called survivors placed a single rose in the memorial wreath. The wreath was later escorted to the National Law Enforcement Memorial Wall and protected by honor guards from all over the world. View CSPAN’s coverage of the National Peace Officers’ Memorial here.
National Police Week concluded with the second day of the Concerns of Police Survivors conference and their annual “Picnic on the Patio”.
Arizona Department of Public Safety Sergeant Marcia Johnson served as support staff for survivors during the week. AHPA commends her vital assistance during the emotional week.
About National Police Week: In 1962, President John F. Kennedy signed a proclamation which designated May 15th as Peace Officers Memorial Day and the week in which that date falls as Police Week. Currently, tens of thousands of law enforcement officers from around the world converge on Washington, DC to participate in a number of planned events which honor those that have paid the ultimate sacrifice. The Memorial Service began in 1982 as a gathering in Senate Park of approximately 120 survivors and supporters of law enforcement. Decades later, the event, more commonly known as National Police Week, has grown to a series of events which attracts thousands of survivors and law enforcement officers to our Nation’s Capital each year.
National Police Week draws in between 25,000 to 40,000 attendees. The attendees come from departments throughout the United States as well as from agencies throughout the world. This provides a unique opportunity to meet others that share a common brotherhood.