#JusticeinPimaCounty: Week 71
On Wednesday night, the Tucson Police Department was able to resume its annual Fallen Officer Memorial after a hiatus due to Covid. A large crowd gathered to honor the loss of Special Agent Garbo from the incident at the Amtrak station, along with the anniversaries of historical sacrifices in the line of duty.
“It was a moving, beautiful night as the sun set, and a light breeze moved in,” said Dan South, who was present with Baird Greene, Tracy Miller, Mark Hotchkiss, C.T. Revere, Virginia Rodriguez, Carolyn Dexter, Lew Brandes and Jenn Holt.
At the hour of the Memorial on Wednesday night, I was on a plane to D.C., unable to shift the flight back later in time to stay in town. But 80% of my flight from Phoenix to Reagan Airport was law enforcement, traveling to D.C. for Police Week, an event which culminates with a nationwide candlelit vigil on the National Mall. On the flight I learned that after Tucson lost Special Agent Garbo in early October of last year, La Paz County lost a married father of six, just three days after Maricopa suffered a loss. And, as I often reflect, we then lost Deputy Christopher Campas of PCSD on November 20th. Upon deplaning, this Honor Guard pictured here welcomed the families, and homemade bears were handed to children who had lost a parent.
It was very moving. And gut wrenching.
I am at a conference at the Georgetown Law Center with three topics of study: juveniles, guns, and police relations. We have 15 Chiefs and Sheriffs with us from around the country to discuss how modern policing and criminal justice reform require us working together. Working WELL together.
It has been an intense, robust, productive discussion for two straight days now: dispelling the notion that the progressive prosecutor is anti-police. The leaders in this room, both head D.A.s and Chiefs, embrace accountability for each of our shops, and all are intent upon answering the homicide spike and the proliferation of firearms with data driven solutions.
It is not a coincidence that I am here during Police Week in D.C. As the conference ends tonight, I will make my way to the National Mall to join hundreds of Arizona officers and thousands more from around the country to light candles.
I was so sorry to miss the Tucson Memorial, but tonight I will be in deep prayer for Deputy Campas of PCSO, Special Agent Garbo, and their loved ones.
And the spirit of each at PCAO will be with me.
To be continued…