Officer James John Rapozo

Officer James John Rapozo

Visalia Police Department, California

End of Watch Friday, January 9, 1998

Add to My Heroes

James John Rapozo

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.


  • Age 33
  • Tour 6 years
  • Badge 93

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun
  • Offender Killed in shootout

Most Recent Reflection

View all 34 Reflections

I don't visit your page each anniversary, Officer Memorial Day or Police Week...
I look at it when I think of you, or use you as an example, (which is often).
I see what your family writes and comments from friends, coworkers and strangers.
You lived as a modest, humble man, a cop that died as a Hero.
I am positive if you had been told the future, you would have been astounded.
You would have asked, "Me, a hero? " Then you would have laughed and said, "I'm just a cop, not hero material."
But, surprise, you are a hero, Jim.
A hero, that so many paid their respects to. Not with just flags, but with tear lined streets. You are a hero, that is still loved, honored, remembered and missed by so many.
You would have been disbelieving and you would have laughed at the idea - many years later of so many people thinking of you and missing you.
(Yes, Jim. Dying a "Hero", IS kind of a big deal!)
I know your "hero presence" is with all that knew you.
You will never be replaced or forgotten.
Your family has their hero with them always. Your wife can turn to her hero for support. Your daughters will have their hero to walk them down the aisle.
Friends, co-workers and the entire city of Visalia, has a hero.
Jim, being a "Hero", is the hardest job you have ever had.
But like everything in life, you did so well -You are doing an excellent job of Hero!
I know I speak for so many others, when I say, I miss you, I think of you often and you are my hero!

C. Briggs
Peace Officer, Prison Transport Deputy

August 11, 2020

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