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

Officer

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

Incident Date: 6/16/1975

Weapon: Gun; Unknown type

Suspect: 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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On June 16, 1975, I was a new cadet going through the Phoenix Police Academy. I remember how your death had a huge impact on all the cadets and especially on me. The next day, after my training day ended, I drove to the building where your life was taken and saw the bullet holes on the exterior wall where your partner was shot at and grazed. Your sacrifice that day gave me a resolve to stay alive. I prayed and swore that if it was within my power, to not allow this tragedy to happen to another officer.

Later in my career, I went to work in Corrections, became a training officer, and I used this tragedy to train new officers in "Critical Thinking" and "Officer Safety" to improve their odds of survival and safety. This may have saved an untold number of officers over the last 39 years.

Officer Chavez - May you rest in peace and in the gratitude of the citizens you protected.

P.P.D. Officer #2937
Retired ADC Parole Officer
February 27, 2014

 

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