Sandoval County 911 dispatcher Jared Bradshaw got on the radio at Thursday’s Rio Rancho Police Department Fallen Officer Memorial Ceremony.
“Rio Rancho, all units. Traffic Officer Germaine Casey, 103. Officer Anthony Haase, 107. Officer Gregg ‘Nigel’ Benner, 163,” Bradshaw said. “As you remember these fallen officers, take comfort in recalling that they dedicated their lives in the principles of honor, duty and courage they brought to the badge.”
“Such a life is truly rich. Take strength in knowing that when an officer falls, the resolve to serve those in need does not diminish,” Bradshaw added.
Casey, Haase and Benner were three Rio Rancho police officers who died in the line of duty.
- Casey died in a motorcycle crash while helping escort former President George W. Bush on Aug. 27, 2007.
- Haase was killed in an automobile accident while responding to a domestic violence call on Oct. 26, 2014.
- Benner was shot and killed across the street from Veterans Monument Park on Memorial Day, May 25, 2015.
“God speed. Now rest in peace,” Bradshaw concluded.
‘The pain is still there’
Over 50 people came to pay their respects to the fallen officers Thursday morning.
“We experience a sense of happiness when we help save a life or help someone feel safe and protected in a violent situation,” RRPD Lt. Jacquelynn Reedy said. “Moments like those and many others instill motivation in continuing to hold the thin blue line.
“We are here today to honor and pay tribute to officers who did just that.”
National Police Week is May 15-21, and Police Officers Memorial Day is May 15.
Rio Rancho Police Chief Stewart Steele mentioned the 105 officers nationwide who have been killed in 2022. This figure came from the Officer Down Memorial Page website.
“We know the pain is still there,” he said, adding that the past couple of years during COVID have not been easy.
“I won’t stand here and tell you everything is perfect in our profession; it isn’t,” Steele said. “I will stand here and tell you law enforcement agencies across the nation are losing officers in droves. That is a loss to our citizens, a loss to our communities, and has endangered our most vulnerable population, our children and our elderly, more than anyone can imagine.
“I believe somewhere along the way, behind the badge, behind the uniform is still a human being, an imperfect human who is a son, a daughter, maybe a mother, father, sister or brother. Just look around at the police and their families here today. These are the people still showing up in the face of danger. My hope is we come together with this mutual understanding that we are all in this together.”