Maricopa Police Department has never lost an officer on duty.
Chief Steve Stahl said he prays that day never comes. But Steve Stroud, a board member of the Maricopa Police Foundation, thinks it’s only a matter of time. In Salt Lake County in Utah, where he’s from, five officers have been lost in 25 years, he said.
The “fallen officers” memorial monument unveiled Monday morning contains no names, yet, but includes a metal U.S. flag on which names can be engraved. The monument stands in the plaza in front of the MPD substation north of Copper Sky Multigenerational Complex.
The dedication came a little later than planned, but Stahl said it was fitting it occurred a day before National Peace Officers Memorial Day, which was established in 1962 by President John F. Kennedy. The monument includes a quote from Kennedy: “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”
Police officers, staff from Maricopa Fire/Medical Department and elected officials attended the ceremony.
The plaza is full of brick pavers that are “sold” by the foundation to be inscribed “to honor the memory of a lost friend, family, or loved one or honor the career of an officer.”
“We officers know what we signed up for,” Stahl said. “Some families may not.”