No one, least of all Mark Gilberg, could have imagined the kind of world-wide attention his final radio call would generate. Trooper Gilberg worked at DPS for 37 years and made his final call on March 30, 2018. His wife captured the moment on video and sent it to the Arizona State Troopers Association website. DPS shared the video on the Department’s social media platforms and from there it took on a life of its own!
The video went viral, generating the most positive media attention by the actions of a DPS trooper than anyone can remember. But then again, Mark Gilberg is no ordinary trooper. Gilberg has spent his entire 37-year career in uniform in the Highway Patrol. He is believed to be the longest serving uniformed trooper in the history of the Highway Patrol. For the last 25 years, Trooper Gilberg has been assigned to District One (Kingman, AZ). He resides in Kanab, Utah and patrols the highways in and around Fredonia, the small town on the Arizona side of the Utah/Arizona border.
Gilberg did spend some time as a motor trooper in the Phoenix area during the early part of his career having started with DPS in 1981.
His supervisor Sgt. John Bottoms, says Gilberg’s legendary work ethic was evident right up until the end. “He was taking people’s shifts and showing no signs of slowing down in the days before his official retirement date. I told him to ease up because I didn’t want him to spend his retirement going to court on his cases.”
Gilberg has been interviewed on Fox and Friends, along with appearing via Skype on KTVK/KPHO TV in Phoenix and the media requests just keep on coming. NBC News asked to use his last call video on its nightly newscast. His newfound celebrity has taken him by surprise, “It’s pretty funny; You know it all started when my son suggested that my wife videotape the final call. He thought it would be a great memento for the family. At his urging we put the video on YouTube and from there my phone started exploding. It’s been a great tribute. I loved my job,” Trooper Gilberg shared regarding his viral video.
So far, his YouTube video has garnered almost five million views, “I did everything in my power not to get emotional during the last call. I just remembered all my friends in the department that have passed away either by natural cases or line of duty deaths and I thought about seeing the incredibly beautiful Escalante National Monument every day on my drive home from work. I’ve always admired police officers and I always will.”