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Chief of Police James Leonard Speer | Calipatria Police Department, California Calipatria Police Department, California

Chief of Police

James Leonard Speer

Calipatria Police Department, California

End of Watch: Friday, April 10, 1998

Bio & Incident Details

Age: 65

Tour: 40 years

Badge # 700

Cause: Gunfire

Weapon: Officer's handgun

Offender: Sentenced to death

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Chief of Police James Speer was shot and killed after responding to a call at an equipment yard on the outskirts of Calipatria, a tiny town in Imperial County. Chief of Police Speer was found dead along with the mother of the suspect. The suspect had managed to gain control of Chief Speer's weapon and shot him in the chest.

The man fled across the United States - Mexico border where he was apprehended by Mexican authorities. He was returned to the United States where he was convicted of both murders and sentenced to death.

Chief Speer had served as chief of the Calipatria Police Department for 10 years and had previously served with the Brawley Police Department, Calexico Police Department, and Imperial County Sheriff's Department. He had a total of 40 years of law enforcement service. He is survived by his wife, daughter, and grandchildren.

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Most Recent Reflection

Chief, I will always remember you... it has been so long now since that day whan you went to heaven, and then the love of your life went to be with you... so many years now but still shed a tear when I visit your gravesite... we sure had some good times working together.. you held us and kept us safe for so many years.. thank you for your leadership, knowledge, kindness and the love and understanding you gave us ... you were not only my chief, but also a great friend and father figure ...Gracias...May our Lord Jesus aslways keep you....

Sgt Estrada Jose
Calipatria PD/California Dept of Corrections Off
March 18, 2017


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