Family, Friends & Fellow Officers Remember...

Patrolman John H. Combs

Parma Police Department, Idaho

End of Watch Monday, September 22, 1969

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Reflections for Patrolman John H. Combs

Rest In Peace Brother in Blue. Thank you Hero and your family for your sacrifice and service to this country. Never forgotten.

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

September 22, 2019

Patrolman Combs,
On today, the 50th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice-not just for your Community but for our Country as well when you served with the USAF in Korea during the Cold War. And to your Family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.


United States Border Patrol

September 22, 2019

Posted on NAMPA, Idaho (CBS2) Sept. 22, 2019

Parma Police officer John Combs was killed in the line of duty 50 years ago.

September 22nd, 1969, Parma police say patrolman Combs stopped to investigate three men in a vehicle parked on the side of the highway, two mile east of Parma.

The men were wanted for an earlier armed robbery. When Combs approached the vehicle, he was shot and killed.

At 25 years old and only two years in the agency, patrolman Combs left behind a wife and two children.

Though 50 years have passed, his older brother Eddie Combs still gets choked up about it.

“You gotta live with it. Someday we’ll be together. I know that," Combs said.

But he remains proud of his brother and the legacy he leaves behind. Memorials, with his named engraved, remind Combs of the hard worker his brother was.

Before the shooting. Combs says he was asked a life changing question.

“John had asked us previous if we would raise the boy. His boy johnny and so I said absolutely. In a heartbeat,” Combs said.

Eddie says his son became one of their own. Though at times, it wasn't easy.

“He had awful dreams and nightmares so he cried through the night. So my wife, she was always there to sooth him and help him but he was four years old. It was really a hassle for the first few years,” Combs said.

But his presence will never be forgotten. Canyon County Sheriff's Office, Parma Police Station, Idaho Peace Officers Memorial and the Old Fort Boise Memorial in Parma, all pay tribute to fallen officer Combs.

“It makes me feel so proud I can’t hardly stand it. It’s an honor for all police officers,” Combs said.

Embracing the memory and honor of Combs fallen brother.

“You have to believe that we will be together someday. I do believe that but what’s done is done. You can’t do anything about it. It’s called history,” Combs said.

Retired Police Officer

September 8, 2019

Rest in peace Patrolman Combs.

Rabbi Lewis S. Davis

August 29, 2019

We went to school together in Homedale. The last time that I saw John was in a train in Korea 1963. I was sitting in the US/UN car and he came walking down the aisle. We had a good talk and I never saw him again.

Thomas Thompson Maj. USAR

October 13, 2018

I wish I would have known my father, so many people say that he was a wonderful man and always wanted to help others. I wish I knew the little things, like his humor or the music he liked or even his favorite color. I was 4 months old when he died and although I have made effort, to no avail, the Combs family has had extremely little involvement in my life, by their choice. My mother says that I act like my father a lot and that I am driven like he was and I feel like I have passed that on to his beautiful 3 grandchildren. So I know that even though he has been physically gone since I was 4 months old, he has been there with me and my children always.

Andrea Combs Burtenshaw Gentry, daughter

May 7, 2013

Your heroism and service is honored today, the 43rd anniversary of your death. Your memory lives and you continue to inspire. Thank you for your service. My cherished son Larry Lasater was a fellow police officer murdered in the line of duty on April 24, 2005 while serving as a Pittsburg, CA police officer.

Time never diminishes respect. Your memory will always be honored and revered.

Rest In Peace

Phyllis Loya
Mom of fallen California Officer Larry Lasater, Pittsburg PD, eow 4/24/05

September 22, 2012

Rest in Peace, Patrolman Combs. Your sacrifice is not forgotten.

Officer 11169

April 7, 2012

I began my career in Idaho in 1969 as yours was ending. Yours was the first L.E. death that I was aware of and as the years went by I often thought of you while attending services for other officers. Sadly we have become too good at laying cops to rest. Officer Combs you are a true hero R.I.P.

Deputy Rick Wiley
Owyhee County Sheriff's Office

March 6, 2011

Officer Combs your work on this Earth as we know it is done. You are in God's Hands now. May you rest in peace.

SGT. Daryl Brewer
Clarksville Police Dept. Clarksville, Tennessee

May 29, 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

October 15, 2007

Rest in God's loving embrace, hero. You will never be forgotten.

Wisconsin L.E.O.

March 8, 2007

May you rest in peace. You will always be remembered as a hero.

ISU Dept. of Public Safety

November 13, 2003

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