Bio & Incident Details
Tour: 3 years
Badge # R1019
Cause: Aircraft accident
Reserve Officer Stuart Taira was killed as a result of a police helicopter crash. Reserve Officer Taira, a reserve photographer for the Air Support Unit, and two other officers were conducting aerial patrols following a tornado. Reserve Officer Taira was assigned to photograph the after effects of a tornado. In between patrols the officers were dispatched to investigate a report of a burglar on a roof. As the helicopter took off it struck an unseen power line, causing it to crash. The officers (Sergeant Ronnie Hansen, pilot, and Tom Brooks, observer) survived the initial impact and Reserve Officer Taira was able to exit the aircraft.
Reserve Officer Taira then returned to the aircraft in an attempt to rescue his two partners. One of the helicopter's rotors struck Reserve Officer Taira in the head, killing him.
Reserve Officer Taira was posthumously awarded the department's Medal of Valor. He had served three years with the agency and was survived by his parents, two sisters, and two brothers.