Family, Friends & Fellow Officers Remember...

Police Officer Claire Nicole Carolyn Connelly

Riverside Police Department, California

End of Watch Sunday, July 12, 1998

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Reflections for Police Officer Claire Nicole Carolyn Connelly

So sad. Thank you for your service. May God bless you and your family. Gone to quickly and really never had a chance to live your beautiful life. But a short time of service doesn’t mean you didn’t earn the title of “Keeper of the Peace”. Your life mattered and I recognize how much you contributed and you are missed.

State Traffic Officer 7185.
California Highway Patrol & US Marine

July 12, 2022

I was on shift as a Police Explorer that night. You had just held a the motor vehicle call while taking care of a current call we were on together with Officer Tipre who I was riding along with. Officer Tipre and I went back to the station and I heard the call of officer down. I will never forget that moment in my life. You were a wonderful person to have worked with.

Staff Sergeant (Retired) Engbrecht
RPD Former Police Explorer/ US ARMY

December 28, 2020

Thank you for service and please know that your sacrifice will never, ever be forgotten. Rest in peace always.

Detective Cpl/3 Steven Rizzo
Delaware State Police (Retired)

July 12, 2020

Officer Connelly, many years have passed since you lost your young life doing your job that fateful day. I can see how you are missed in this world and what an impact you made! May God continue to Bless all those that loved you here on earth and comfort them. Thank you for your brave service. Rest in Peace, Sister.

Mary Milam
Sergeant (Ret)
Chicago Police Department

Flowery Branch, GA

May 29, 2020

I remember Claire from when I was a police officer for RCCPD (1989-2004), she was my back up a few times, she was the best! God rest her soul!

steven printup
Riverside Community College District PD

April 4, 2020

I knew Claire. She was just as beautiful on the inside as she was on the outside. I remember when we were recruits. She was in my senior class. We were so busy, and being pushed physically, mentally and spiritually to the extreme...but she would take the time to seek out the junior class members from her town and make sure they were doing okay. She would check in, and see if we needed direction or support. What a great leader she was. She is still missed, thought of, and carried through the streets of Riverside in our hearts as we crush crime and eradicate evil to honor her and every citizen of Riverside.

Melissa Brazil, Detective
Riverside PD

July 11, 2019

Rest in peace Officer Connelly.

Rabbi Lewis S. Davis

April 27, 2019

I still remember your beauty and grace, Claire, and your singleness of purpose in devoting your life to the service of others. I may have become a little inexact in recalling the date you received your eternal reward, but your shining donation of yourself to us all is always in my recollections. You are an example of spiritual victory.

Theresa Lynch
Unaffiliated Civilian Friend

August 2, 2018

You are a sister we never got to meet but you will never be forgotten. The years change nothing for your family as the loss is felt everyday. We will always pray for your family as you RIP.

Tina Swanno & Tom Morris Ret.
Both Nassau County NY. PD

July 14, 2018

Twenty years. It's impossible to imagine the life that you might have led, given the opportunity. I'm glad to have known you, however briefly, and have deep respect for the accomplishments of your too-brief life.

Sgt. D. M. Phaneuf (Ret.)
Riverside Police Department - Claire's sergeant

July 12, 2018

Rest In Peace Sister in Blue. You are honored and remembered on the 20th anniversary of your EOW. thank you and your family and friends for your sacrifice and service.

Officer Mike Robinson (Ret.)
Upland Police Dept. CA

July 12, 2018

You already know how I feel about you. We didn’t get to live our dream together but we did get to dream it. Some years have gone by now and I’m sure I’m not the only one who can say this. I think about you every day, still, every single day. This has been going on long enough now that I’m quite sure it will continue until the day I join you. Just in case I didn’t say it enough, I love you. I loved you before I met you. You were just a dream then. A dream I hoped would come true for me one day maybe. Then you came into my life and I have never been the same. I’m sure you have some idea the impact you had on the lives of people who were lucky enough to know you but maybe not completely, you just didn’t get enough time. Through the practice of reminiscing I get to re-live the times we had together. Maybe you’re in a place where you can remember the fox at the edge of the meadow or the feeling of the water at the clay cliffs. It was the closest to true contentment I have ever experienced and I owe you the best memories of my life. I miss you so much.

Dan Vail

December 15, 2015

We sat side-by-side for 10 hours when you had to endure the "Communications/Dispatch" part of your training. You actually appeared to be interested in what happens on the other end of that radio that you rely on every day.

Your passing was a shock to all of us. Through all of this, working with your family every year on the scholarship board set up in your memory, has given me the opportunity to build relationships with your Mom, Step-Dad (RIP), Step-Mom and sister that I would never had built otherwise. Your family has become a part of my family.

I cannot see a yellow rose without thinking of you, Claire. You will never be forgotten.

Celeste Shively Barden
Riverside Police Department

July 15, 2013

Dear Claire,
I hardly knew you. We only talked briefly a few times as we ran into each other in the halls at work. Your enthusiasm was evident. I read a few of your reports and your dedication obvious.
I remember hearing some of your civilian friends say how awesome it was, as they walked out with your coffin and past the honor guard and rows of uniformed officers.
At Crestlawn Cemetery, one of the final tributes was yellow roses on your coffin by your peers and co-workers.
I hardly knew you but you left an impression on me and many others at Riverside PD.
You done Good.

Detective Georgina Holderness, Retired
Riverside Police Department

July 13, 2013

Rest in Peace.

1st Lt. Stephen A. Joy #980
Prince George's County Police Department, Maryland

February 11, 2013

"Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God."
Matthew 5:9

Marshal Chris Di Gerolamo
Federal Air Marshal Service

February 11, 2013

Officer Connelly, you were serving your community when your life was taken. Your service honors your community, your profession, colleagues in the Riverside Police Department and throughout the greater law enforcement community.

Thank you. I only wish you had the chance to enjoy a longer career. Rest in peace and may those left behind continue to heal and honor your life.

Now the community of Riverside, and your department, must deal with another criminal act resulting in the loss of one Riverside Officer and the serious wounding of another. My thoughts and prayers are with these most recent victims, their families and friends, the department and the community.

Continue to Rest in Peace - and welcome another Riverside hero into the next Life.

Retired Police Chief, Colorado
Former Riverside Resident

February 8, 2013

Rest in Peace, Officer Connelly. Your sacrifice is not forgotten.

Officer 11169

January 19, 2012

Officer Connelly your work on this Earth as we know it is done. You are in God"s hands now sister. May you rest in peace.

SGT. Daryl Brewer
Clarksville Police Dept. Clarksville, Tennessee

December 19, 2009

How many times over the years have I done an internet search for my old high school friend, Claire Connelly, only to find out today that she is gone. It has been 11 years since her death, but it is new to me and I feel the very deep pain of her loss. Having lost touch with her over the years, I still always thought of her. We had a great impact on each other during those years of our youth. I wish I could say in a positive way. But, I remember how beautiful and how funny she was. She had a great sense of humor. I can't imagine how much she is missed by her family.

Hats off to you Claire. You turned your life around and did good in the world. You will never be forgotten.

Your friend, April

April Hoy
A high school friend

May 28, 2009

Officer Connelly, I"m an explorer Sgt for our department right now and have been for the past 3 years. I dont know why but every now and then I look at the wall with our Fallen Officers on it and wondered what you were like. I would of loved to work with you one day, You paid the Ultimate Sacrifice Thank You.

Exploer Sgt Taylor Lapoint
Riverside Police Department

October 24, 2008

What a bright smile you have. It is easy to see you were proud to serve and we,
too are proud of you. You gave your all to an appreciative nation 10 years ago
and time has not diminished your sacrifice.
Lynn Kole
Bellingham, WA


July 12, 2008

Officer Connelly,
On today, the 10th anniversary of your death, I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for the citizens of Riverside. And to your family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.



July 12, 2008

You popped up on the always remembered screen. We do remember you Sister, keep us easy

Mason Police Officer

January 18, 2008

"The Badge"

He starts his shift each day
To respond to calls unknown.
He drives a marked patrol car.
A police officer he is known.

He's paid by the citizens' taxes
To make it safe on the streets.
But he usually has a second job
'Cause a waitress has his salary beat.

Now he doesn't know a holiday
'Cause he works all year round.
And when Thanksgiving and Christmas finally arrive
At his home he cannot be found.

He's cursed and assaulted often,
The one whos blood runs blue.
He seldom ever gets a thanks,
To some he's just a fool.

His friends are always other cops
'Cause people just don't understand
That underneath his badge and gun,
He's just another man.

He knows there might not be a tomorrow
In this world of drugs and crime.
And he gets so mad at the court system
'Cause the crooks don't get any time.

And each day when he leaves for work,
He prays to God above.
Please bring me home after my shift
So I can see the ones I love.

But tonight he stops a speeding car,
He's alone down this ole' highway.
It's just a little traffic infraction.
He does it everyday.

Well, he walks up to the driver's window,
And his badge is shining bright.
He asked the guy for a driver's license,
When a shot rang through the night.

Yes, the bullet hit its mark,
Striking the officer in the chest.
But the Department's budget didn't buy
Each officer a bullet-proof vest.

So he lay on the ground bleeding.
His blood wasn't blue - His blood was red.
And briefly he thought of his loved ones
'Cause in a moment the officer was dead.

In the news they told the story
Of how this officer had died.
And some who listened cared less,
But those who loved him cried.

Well, they buried him in uniform
With his badge pinned on his chest.
He even had his revolver,
He died doing his best.

Written By:
David L. Bell
Richland County Sheriff's Department
Columbia, South Carolina
Used with Special Permission of the Author
Copyright © 1999 - All Rights Reserved
and may not be duplicated without permission

Investigator David L Bell
Richland County Sheriff's Dept., Columbia, SC

December 5, 2007

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