Sunday, October 26, 2008

Honoring Fallen Officers in Virginia and Arizona

Second Lieutenant Frank Stecco of the Fairfax County Police Department drowned on Tuesday, October 21st, while participating in a helicopter water rescue training scenario around 3:00 p.m.

Lt. Stecco had entered the waters of Pohick Bay wearing only a dry suit to role-play a victim but failed to resurface. An intense round-the-clock search was immediately launched but Lt. Stecco's body wasn't recovered until approximately 12:25 p.m. on Saturday, October 25th. According to police, the murky waters and make-up of the bottom of the bay made the search particularly difficult. Divers likened the search to dropping a quarter on a football field and attempting to find it by hand.

Colonel David Rohrer, Chief of the Fairfax County Police Department, confirmed the recovery saying, "My heart goes out to Frank's family; my heart goes out to his police family; and my heart goes out to the community Frank worked in and loved."

A veteran of the United States Marine Corps and 19-year veteran of the department, Lt. Stecco spent 11 of those 19 years assigned to the Mount Vernon District station where Chief Rohrer said Lt. Stecco was a highly decorated member of the department; he was awarded a Silver Medal of Valor in 1994, a Bronze Medal of Valor in 1997, and a Certificate of Valor by the Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce in 2000 for acts of bravery above and beyond the call of duty.

Fueled by his passion and dedication for serving the children and teenagers of the county just one month ago before his untimely death, Lt. Stecco opted to leave the Mount Vernon district and join the Fairfax County Police Department's Youth Services Division

Lt. Stecco, 42, leaves behind his wife, their three children, and his mother.

A 25-year old Phoenix , Arizona police officer was killed early Saturday morning when his cruiser was struck by a vehicle that turned in front of him while he was responding to a "shots fired" call.

Officer Shane Figueroa was responding to a call west of downtown Phoenix at approximately 1:22 a.m. on October 25th when witnesses state that a small white pickup truck with two occupants turned left in front of his cruiser. The impact spun Figueroa's vehicle and sent it crashing into a block wall. He was pronounced dead at St. Joseph 's Hospital and Medical Center .

The vehicle was driven by an illegal immigrant who was also wanted on four separate warrants. "He told officers at the scene that he was in this country illegally. He was also suspected of being under the influence of alcohol," says Phoenix Police Sgt. Andy Hill. "He does have, in addition, four warrants for his arrest under another name, which he admitted were his."

"This is a tremendous loss, not only to Officer Figueroa's family, but to the Phoenix Police Department and the community," said Sgt. Hill.

"This is a tragedy, not just for us," Phoenix Police Chief Jack Harris said. "We will do everything we possibly can to assist his family." Harris said four Phoenix police officers have died this month, either from illness or in the line of duty.

Officer Figueroa, who served less than three years with the Phoenix Police Department, is survived by wife and three-month old daughter in addition to his father, who is a retired officer from the Phoenix Police Department and currently serves as an officer in the town of Maricopa , and his father-in-law, a lieutenant with the Mesa Police Department.

3 comments:

  1. How sad. You are starting to post these too frequently again. Just saying.

    My thoughts and prayers to their family, friends and the law enforcement community.

    Big hug Linda. :)

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  2. My prayers go out to these heroes' families and friends.

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  3. Oh, so sad...the 25 year old especially!

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