PHOENIX — The Arizona Department of Public Safety honored the memories of its fallen officers at an annual ceremony Monday in Phoenix.
The ceremony was bittersweet for the family, friends and former colleagues of the officers.
DPS Director Col. Frank Milstead said the fallen officers had one goal in mind when they signed up.
“To give back to our communities, to make it a great place to live and play and to know that when our families or children are out at night, that they’ll come home safely,” he said.
Gov. Doug Ducey said, as the son of a police officer in Ohio, he remembered the nagging fear his father might not come home at the end of his shift.
“Knowing the risks, our brave officers willingly sign up to protect their communities by putting on a uniform,” he said. “They run toward threats in the defense of others without seeking reward. Our fallen officers have given us a gift we can never truly repay.”
Twenty-nine DPS troopers have been killed in the line of duty since 1958. The youngest was 27 and the oldest was 57.
The most recent death was in 2013, when Timothy Huffman was killed by a truck on Interstate 8 near Yuma while he was investigating an accident. The driver was convicted of negligent homicide.
“I get asked all the time what keeps you up at night,” Milstead said. “It’s the safety of the troopers – the men and women here who serve.”
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