On November 8th, Officer Darrin Reed responded to a call about a man being disruptive at the local Days Inn. This call ended with Officer Reed being shot in the confrontation, and he died later at the hospital.
The death of this officer hit home for me more so than others for a couple of reasons. Officer Reed was only one year older than I am; it’s always sobering to attend funerals for people in your own age group. But more importantly, Reed was serving in Show Low, a small town in the mountains of Arizona, responding to a fairly routine call right in the middle of the day. It serves as a reminder that evil can strike anywhere, and there are no small ways to serve. Some departments might be “on the front lines” serving in higher-incident areas, but everyone who pins on a badge puts it all on the line for their community, every day and everywhere.
The Arizona Rangers were one of several volunteer agencies who came to Show Low to help. In fact, some regular law enforcement agencies from far afield in the state had been there for days already, assisting the Show Low PD and allowing them to handle arrangements while the out of town officers filled in.
Standing at my post on the main thoroughfare, I was able to watch the funeral procession as it passed. It took a solid 45 minutes to pass; it was that long. There were that many people. The line of motorcycle officers was a quarter mile long, and then came miles of squad cars and unmarked vehicles. Almost every agency in the state was represented, as well as some from out of state – I saw cars from San Diego, CA and Gallup, NM. There were representatives from Game and Fish, Fire departments, Paramedics, and other agencies one doesn’t normally associate with law enforcement.
And people. Ordinary people lining the street, taking time off work, out of their day, to stand and honor the passing of a man they did not know, but to express their gratitude for his service and to honor him for his sacrifice.
Godspeed, Officer Darrin Reed.