NEVADA HONORS LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS KILLED IN THE LINE OF DUTY
On May 13, 1998, during National Law Enforcement Officers Week, the Nevada Law Enforcement Officers Memorial was dedicated on the Capitol Mall in Carson City, Nevada. This memorial was created by the Nevada law enforcement community to honor those officers that made the ultimate sacrifice while serving the citizens of the State of Nevada.
Between November 1861 and June 2014, one hundred and twenty eight (128) law enforcement officers were killed in the line of duty in Nevada. The first officer killed was Territorial Sheriff John L. Blackburn who suffered fatal stab wounds while trying to arrest a suspect in Carson City on November 18, 1861.
Each of these officers has unique stories about their lives and the causes of their deaths. Sixty-eight of these officers died as the result of gun shots wounds. Only one died of an accidental gun shot, the rest were killed as a result of actions taken by the suspects they were dealing with in the course of their duties. Three officers were stabbed to death; seven died from beatings at the hands of suspects. Thirty died in automobile accidents and three as the result of motorcycle accidents. Of the remaining seventeen officers killed in the line of duty, one died from burns and thirteen died in an assortment of mishaps and medical issues.
In 1987, a call came from the National Law Enforcement Memorial for a list of Nevada officers that were killed in the line of duty. It was soon realized that there was not a comprehensive list available, so a statewide effort was made by the Nevada Conference of Police and Sheriffs (NCOPS) with the assistance of the Nevada Sheriffs and Chiefs to create a list that could be used by the National Law Enforcement Memorial. This Memorial was being dedicated to all American law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty. That same year, NCOPS passed a resolution calling for the creation of Nevada Law Enforcement Officers Memorial.
During the 1989 Nevada Legislative Session AB493 was passed creating a Nevada Law Enforcement Officers Memorial and Commission. Once the Commission was organized, a search was conducted for a design for the Memorial. This Memorial was to be located on the Capitol Mall in Carson City. John Sicking, a student from the Western Nevada Community College in Fallon submitted a design that was selected by the Commission as the official Memorial design concept.
A statewide fund raising campaign was launched and an artist was selected to do the work on the Memorial. Ron and Lil Mitchell were accepted as the artists and Dan LaRue was chosen to do the actual construction work on the Memorial. By 1992, the bronze sculptures had been completed and in 1996 all of the funds to finish the Memorial had been raised. Funding for this project was truly a statewide community effort, as support was received from a broad cross section of Nevada citizens.
In September of 1997, a site was selected on the Capitol Mall. The location was to be in the center of the mall across from the statue of Kit Carson. On April 8, 1998, a “Code 3” convoy of Nevada Law Enforcement Officers escorted the components of the Memorial from Las Vegas to Carson City in preparation for final work on the construction. On May 13, 1998, the Memorial was completed and dedicated in a ceremony which included a combined Nevada Law Enforcement Honor Guard and keynote speeches by Governor Bob Miller, Attorney General Frankie Sue Del Papa, and then Memorial Commission Chairman Kenny Guinn.
The Territory of Nevada was established in 1861. From 1861 till Nevada became a State, three officers were killed in the line of duty. To insure that we honor all of our officers that have fallen in the line of duty, these three officers have been included in our database.