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Memorial unveiled for fallen Phoenix police officer

PHOENIX — Hundreds of police officers gathered in west Phoenix on Tuesday for the unveiling of a new marker honoring one of their own killed last year.

The marker is mounted on a light pole on Bethany Home Road just east of 43rd Avenue, where detective John Hobbs was shot and killed during a gun battle with a murder suspect on March 3, 2014.

Lt. Sal Frieni leads Hobbs’ former unit. He said Hobbs was a family man and great police officer.

“He was a friend to his peers,” Frieni said. “He was a mentor to his peers. He had a lot of experience. He was always happy, and was always giving to his peers. He was always fixing their weapons, and trying to make their lives easier and better.”

Frieni said Hobbs deserves the honor of being memorialized with the marker.

“Every day, officers come out and don’t know what’s going to happen, other than that their responding to the community and helping them,” Frieni said. “In this instance, John made the ultimate sacrifice, and this marker will be here to historically mark that incident and that day.”

A total of 37 Phoenix police officers who died in the line of duty are memorialized by markers throughout the city.