Law enforcement officers from all over Nevada gathered to honor their fallen comrades at the 15th annual Peace Officer’s Memorial in Carson City on Thursday.
Honored this year was Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Officer David VanBusKirk, who died July 23, 2013, after falling during a night-time aerial helicopter rescue of a stranded hiker. He was a 13-year veteran of the department. VanBusKirk was lowered to the hiker and connected them both to the line. When the helicopter was reeling them both back up, VanBusKirk became detached and fell.
Southern Pacific Railroad officers John Montague, who was killed Jan. 5, 1905, in Sparks, and Jose Sancedo, who was murdered in a Palisade robbery Aug. 11, 1937, were also honored at Thursday’s ceremony.
As part of the memorial, Nevada law enforcement officers run from Las Vegas to Carson City carrying a baton with the names of the three fallen officers to be added to the memorial.
The more than 400-mile run is divided into 126 segments for the 126 names appearing on the Peace Officer’s Memorial, which is located at the capital complex in Carson City.
Runners left Las Vegas on April 24 and took a week to bring the baton north. Officers from Washoe County Sheriff’s Office and Sparks Police Department helped bring the baton along its longest route, 85 miles from Hawthorne to Wellington on Tuesday. Northern run coordinator Sgt. Jim Halsey said it was after 8 p.m. before that run was completed.
The baton entered Douglas County after 7 a.m. Wednesday, with officers running through Topaz Ranch Estates and the Pine Nut Mountains before arriving in Carson Valley. Washoe Tribal Police Officer Evan Enos passed the baton to the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office K9 Squad at Riverview and Highway 395 at 10:30 a.m.
Officers made their way quickly through Minden and Gardnerville and were well on their way to Carson City by noon Wednesday.
Batons were presented to the families of the three officers during the ceremony.