As we all know by now, May 6th was a troubling day for the agency. On the very day we honored the lives of 28 DPS Officers who have paid the ultimate sacrifice, another of our brothers was taken from us as he patrolled the highway. The circumstances that took the life of Officer Tim Huffman #5430 are still being investigated. What we do know is that the driver of the commercial vehicle involved was clearly not paying attention while driving. The driver has been charged with second degree murder as well as 14 counts of endangerment.
The memorial service for Tim held in Yuma on Wednesday, May 15 was well attended not only by DPS employees, but also law enforcement representatives from all over the state and country. It was an amazing display of honor and respect for Tim. Additionally, dignitaries from local and state government attended to pay their respects to one of Arizona’s fallen. Special thanks go to Secretary of State Ken Bennett, Attorney General Tom Horne, Speaker of the House of Representatives Andy Tobin and Representatives Justin Pierce and Darin Mitchell. At the height of the legislative session, these individuals showed their priorities by taking the time to honor Tim.
The DPS Honor Guard once again showed true professionalism during the ceremony. Captain Danny Golden and his crew did an outstanding job. Seeing them represent our Department, I have to say that I am truly proud to be a member of the Department of Public Safety.
Tim’s body was escorted to Fort Bayard National Cemetery in New Mexico on Friday, May 17. A procession travelled from Yuma to the New Mexico state line where the New Mexico State Police took over. During the escort through Arizona, various local law enforcement agencies showed respect by posting at freeway overpasses and saluting Tim as he passed. A heartfelt thank you goes out to the New Mexico State Police for their assistance and support during the ceremony at Fort Bayard.
AHPA members should all feel proud of the role AHPA was honored to play in assisting Tim’s family and friends with arrangements and funding for vehicle rentals and accommodations in Arizona and during the burial in New Mexico. Additionally, we were able to be there for Tim’s family and friends providing emotional support in their time of need. In all, the events honoring Tim were truly fitting a man that gave his all every day he put on the uniform. His siblings, Tom, Paul, Warren and Lisa were greatly appreciative of the support they have received from everyone involved.