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Officer Gilbert R. Chavez | Phoenix Police Department, Arizona Phoenix Police Department, Arizona


Gilbert R. Chavez

Phoenix Police Department, Arizona

End of Watch: Monday, June 16, 1975

Bio & Incident Details

Age: 22

Tour: 1 year

Badge # 2684

Cause: Gunfire

Weapon: Gun; Unknown type

Offender: Not available

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Officer Gilbert Chavez was shot and killed by a juvenile during a burglary of a Phoenix radiator business. Officer Chavez had entered the business after dispatchers received an anonymous tip that a burglary was in progress. The officer located the suspect and a struggle ensued. Officer Chavez was critically wounded but managed to radio for help before dying.

Officer Chavez had been with the agency for one year and was survived by his wife

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Most Recent Reflection

The other day I came across several articles of your passing from 1975 that I had stored away in my files all those years, and thought it was time for me to make a few comments in your honor. We were classmates at the Phoenix Police Academy back in 1974 along with William Day and many others.
You were very enthusiastic and totally committed to becoming a police officer. You often kicked my butt in defensive tactics class! The academy was tough, as it should have been. Along with the hundreds of subjects, Officer Safety was often pounded into our heads by all the staff including our class Sergeant Jeff Boehm, because it was a very dangerous time for law enforcement professionals.
You did very well and the happy day came when you and most of our classmates graduated. You could not wait to practice your skills and serve the community, it was a very exciting time. We all knew that there was a possibility that some of us would not survive, but it didn’t matter. You had the internal quality that all good police officers have and pressed on despite the dangers of the job.
From experience, we all know that things can go very wrong, very fast. The news of your tragic end hit everyone hard. I attended your funeral in Winkelman, Arizona. It was a very sad and trying day, especially for your family. Fellow law enforcement officers, many of whom had never met you, came from all corners of the state in your honor to pay their respects.
Your ultimate sacrifice made ALL of us a lot more vigilant while conducting our daily duties. I am speaking from experience when I say that you saved many of us, many times.
Rest in peace brother.
We will never forget you.

Commander Barry Vassall, Retired
Scottsdale Police Department
June 22, 2017


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