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Officer James John Rapozo | Visalia Police Department, California Visalia Police Department, California

Officer

James John Rapozo

Visalia Police Department, California

End of Watch: Friday, January 9, 1998

Bio & Incident Details

Age: 33

Tour: 6 years

Badge # 93

Cause: Gunfire

Weapon: Handgun

Offender: Killed in shootout

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Officer James Rapozo died in surgery at 1750 hours from a gunshot wound he suffered during a SWAT raid. The shootout also left one suspect dead and another man injured.

Officer Rapozo, a member of the SWAT team, was the first Visalia officer to die in the line of fire since 1946. He was wearing a bulletproof vest but the bullet hit his body in the underarm area and entered his chest. He was taken to Kaweah Delta Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

The suspect who was killed was wanted in a shooting that left five people injured on Christmas Eve.

Officer Rapozo is survived by his wife, daughter, and son.

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Most Recent Reflection

When I remember James, your husband, father and friend to many, I think of the dedicated, very intelligent, hard working, caring and kind man he was. A friend to all that had the honor to know him. I recall first meeting James while visiting the Tulare, Kings County Police Academy at COS. I was not surprised when James gratuated number 1. James would be working for the city of Hanford upon graduating. I recall thinking"wow, this guy is going to be awesome". Later, while serving on the NTF team for Kings County I had the honor to work with James when he was a patrolman. He would often stop by our office to provide us with informant information. He later served the same team with distinction and honor. I recall when he went to VPD. I asked him why he was leaving HPD since he had such a bright future. We all thought he would one day be our supervisor. He told me it was to better provide for his future family and gain from the opportunities VPD would provide. I will never forget the day he was killed. I will never forget the funeral. Some have said they could barely hold back tears. I was the one with tears running down my face. Those tears come back every time I think of that awful day when we lost a brother and friend because his family lost so much more. To his son and daughter, know he is with you always.

Retired officer, Todd Rhea
CPD, NTF
March 21, 2017

 

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