Chief of Police James Leonard Speer

Chief of Police James Leonard Speer

Calipatria Police Department, California

End of Watch Friday, April 10, 1998

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James Leonard Speer

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.


  • Age 65
  • Tour 40 years
  • Badge 700

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Officer's handgun
  • Offender Sentenced to death

Most Recent Reflection

View all 34 Reflections

Chief Speer I.D.700 and I would back each other up when we worked grave yards and swing shifts. I was with Westmorland Police Department and respected Ed beyond what words can describe. He was one of the best cops it was my honor to know. Bill Hays Westmorland Police Department I.D.952

Bill Hays Corporal #952
Westmorland Police Dept.

October 6, 2018

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