Washington, DC— Nevada Senator Harry Reid made the following remarks on the Senate floor today to recognize National Police Week and the Nevada law enforcement officers who lost their lives in the line of duty:
“I had the opportunity a few years ago to ride along with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. As we patrolled the streets, watching for drunk drivers and responding to calls, I was struck by how openly they talked about the dangers they face every single day.
“It’s an inherent part of their jobs, but a part of their family’s lives they will never get used to.
“Every day, in every city and town around the country, brave men and women – all of whom volunteered to serve their communities – put themselves in danger to protect us – their friends, their neighbors and so many they will never even meet. They take that risk to give us peace of mind.
“On Police Week, we recognize those who have made the ultimate sacrifice, those who have given their lives in the line of duty. This evening, they will be honored at a candlelight vigil. Their names will be added to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial, and alongside their families, we will celebrate their dedication and remember their sacrifice.
“Four of those names belong to Las Vegas policemen who were killed in the past year. This morning I had the chance to meet with their families. They are some of the strongest Nevadans I’ve ever met.
“Officer Daniel Leach was a career corrections officer. He began his shift last November 21 by driving to Laughlin to pick up prisoners at the Tucker Holding Facility. He was going to take them to the Clark County Detention Center in Las Vegas.
“But before he could get to Laughlin he was involved in a two-vehicle accident and was killed instantly. Officer Leach was 49 years old, and had spent the last 25 years of his life with the Las Vegas Police. He is survived by his wife, two children, his parents, one brother and one sister.
“Before Trevor Nettleton was an officer in the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, he proudly held the honored title of United States Marine. His nine years in the Marine Corps included service in the elite Presidential Guard Detail, where he protected President George W. Bush.
“Last November 19 – two days before Officer Leach’s died – Officer Nettleton was shot and killed by three gang members who broke into his garage, trying to rob him. He was only 30 years old, and left behind a wife, two young children, his parents and one brother.
“Like Officer Nettleson, Officer Milburn Beitel III was also a Marine. And tragically, he also died as a Las Vegas Police Officer at 30 years old.
“ ‘Milli’ – as everyone called him – was on patrol late one Wednesday night last October when a car turned in front of him. Officer Beitel swerved to avoid the other car, but was thrown from his patrol cruiser and died early the next morning. He is survived by his parents and brother.
“Last Friday marked one year since Officer James Manor responded to his last call. It was in the same Las Vegas community where he grew up. While responding to a domestic abuse incident, a pick-up truck driver failed to yield to him, the two cars collided, and Officer Manor was killed.
“Jamie, as he was known, had 10 brothers and sisters, and even more whom he considered brothers and sisters on the force. His siblings, his mother and his large extended family will tell his young daughter, Jay’la, about her courageous father, who died at just 28 years old.
“The memorial wall that will bear these four Nevadans’ names is a living reminder of some of our most selfless citizens. This year we will also add to that wall the names of Nevadans whom we recognize belatedly – some, very belatedly:
· Uriah Gregory, a jailer from Virginia City, Nevada, who was killed by two of his prisoners in 1866.
· Arthur St. Clair, a constable and father of two, and George Requa, a deputy sheriff, who were killed in an ambush in Elko in 1920.
· Charles Lewis, another deputy sheriff from Elko, who was killed by a thief in 1925.
· George Washington Cotant, an Elko constable who died in a car accident in 1937.
· Hugh Gallagher Sr., a deputy sheriff from Virginia City, who died on duty in 1948.
· Ronald Haskell, a narcotics agent in Carson City who died on duty in 1975; and
· Richard Willson, a sergeant from Hawthorne, Nevada, who died after apprehending a suspect in 1994.
“These men were killed a long time ago – one almost 150 years ago, when Nevada wasn’t even two years old. But we can never forget their sacrifices.
“Every day we should thank those who wake up on otherwise unremarkable mornings and head out to work simply to keep us safe.
“Today we thank and honor the courageous Nevadans who, one unforgettable night, never came home.”