Police memorial draws officers from around state

Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Officer Jimmy Rogan never really knew his father.

When Rogan was 18 months old, his father, James, who served in the department more than two decades ago, was killed in the line of duty.

Rogan followed in his father's footsteps, pledging five years ago at the age of 18 to uphold the oath of the same position at the same department.

At a ceremony that memorialized the 95 officers who, like his father, died while serving Nevada's residents, Rogan, now 23, presented a memorial baton Wednesday to a woman whose fiance was killed in the line of duty last year.

The Nevada Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Ceremony was held for the first time at the fallen officers memorial on the capitol grounds in front of the Nevada Supreme Court building.

Rogan was among the 95 officers who started a relay May 10 in Las Vegas in memory of their 95 comrades. It took a week for them to bring the baton to Carson City.

"It's a wonderful way to remember what these officers did - the sacrifices they made," Rogan said, still teary-eyed from several speeches, a heart-felt rendition of the national anthem and a 21-gun salute.

Las Vegas resident Claudia Duarte was presented with the baton by Rogan.

Her fiance, Charles W. Simons, a police officer at Nellis Air Force Base, was killed last year while monitoring a checkpoint at the base. At the age of 36, he was hit by a car.

"He served 18 years in the Air Force and he cared a lot about the country," Duarte said after the ceremony. "I am glad he is being memorialized like this."

Deputies Mike Smock and Jennifer Jonas of the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office escorted Rogan up to the podium next to the memorial wall.

The names on the wall and the establishment of a yearly ceremony to memorialize them will bind Nevada's law enforcement officers, said Reno Police Deputy Chief Bob Galli.

"Nevada's a small state and we have a lot of contact," he said. "When one agency loses an officer, it affects all of us."

In his 21 years on the Reno police force, he has seen the deaths of officers James D. Hoff in 1979 and Keith Hashimoto in 1996. The Hoff memorial in Reno also recognizes officers killed in the line of duty.

In addition to recognizing Simon's death, organizers named two previously unrecognized officers. Deputy Constable Ryan Richard died in 1867 in Nye County and Police Officer William J. Kelly was killed in 1878 in Austin.

The Nevada Law Enforcement Officers Memorial was dedicated in May 1998.


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment