Family, Friends & Fellow Officers Remember...

Deputy Sheriff Dirk Alan Leonardson

Riverside County Sheriff's Department, California

End of Watch Saturday, October 4, 1980

Leave a Reflection

Reflections for Deputy Sheriff Dirk Alan Leonardson

To Kent, your brother lives on in all of us. Your reflection was extraordinary to read. Thank you.

Deputy Sheriff Los Angeles
County Sheriff

October 4, 2023

I think often of this young man. We worked the same shift together. He had an ability to get through the clutter and arrive at the details in order to solve a case.

Dirk was funny, intelligent and dedicated.

Glenn Bevin
Riverside Sheriff's Department

November 19, 2020

Rest in peace always knowing that your service and sacrifice are always remembered by your law enforcement brethren.

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

October 4, 2020

Rest In Peace Brother. 37th anniversary of your EOW, we honor you. You are not forgotten.

Officer Mike Robinson, (Ret)
City of Upland, CA

October 4, 2017

Thirty-six years today. Your still in our thoughts and our hearts my friend. Gone but not forgotten.

David Donowho
Riverside County Sheriff's Department, Retired

October 4, 2016

Rest in Peace, Deputy Leonardson. Your sacrifice is not forgotten.

Officer 11169

January 19, 2012

Dirk is my brother,

Each time I see a Sherriff’s unit or a deputy’s smile, it reminds me of a young man who followed his dream; making me very proud and largely who I am today. I remember reaching that time in our life when suddenly – the sibling rivalry was all but gone and we had become young adults. I felt so grown-up to have my brother treat me with respect and share his thoughts on life.

What bothered me the most, aside from the loss, was when I passed the age he was when he met his fate – you see, I had begun to model my life after his great footsteps – and began to turn my life around. From that horrible night in October, until now -- I knew I couldn’t let him down. Dirk lives in my heart and memories each day, in so many ways. His 23 years brought 48 years of thanks.

Your loving brother,


Kent Leonardson
Brother/U.S. Department of Defense Counter Terrorism Contractor

July 11, 2011

Dirk was a very dedicated young man and well on his way to becoming an outstanding deputy. His keen perception of an seemingly inocuous remark led to the solving a a double Homicide by Arson of a young mother and infant child.

Sgt. Richard Dollarhide (Ret)
riverside county sheriff (Dirk's TO)

June 27, 2011

It has been thirty years. Seems like such a long time, but there has not been an October 4th in thirty years that I have not stopped to think about you. You are not forgotten.

David Donowho
Riverside County Sheriff, Retired

October 4, 2010

Your heroism and service is honored today, the 29th 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.

Thanks to David who posted a reflection about how Riverside honors Dirk's memory. I have often seen this same reflection left on several pages, and was taken aback the first time I saw it as I know every family wants their beloved officers never to be forgotten. However, after seeing it on several different memorial pages, I realize
there is something going on here...maybe an inadvertent error in copying and pasting reflections ( I have unfortunately made that mistake myself) or someone simply has some sort of ax to grind. The fact that a memorial page may not have a reflection may mean that those who knew the officer don't know about the site, but there are many ways of remembering. I am glad someone finally spoke up to set the record straight about their hero.

Rest In Peace, Dirk.

Phyllis Loya


October 19, 2009

On the 28th anniversary of Deputy Leonardson's death, we honored his service in our patrol briefing by reading his entry from ODMP. Each day, we honor one fallen officer on the anniversary of their death so as to keep them in our thoughts, and also to remind us of the dangers inherent in our job. Deputy Leonardson is not forgotten.

Sergeant Zach Perron
Palo Alto (CA) Police Department

October 4, 2008

Please let me answer the last entry. The person who thinks the Department “forgot” Dirk. I respectfully invite the author to attend the Riverside County Peace Officer Memorial at the Safe In His Arms Monument at Riverside Police Department. Same place, May of every year. To listen to the names called as the bag pipes play. See I have sat in Dirk’s seat. The symbolic chairs set aside for those who have paid the ultimate price. I’ve stood when his name was called as it has been called every year. To see anguish in the face of strong men as the memories of all those soul’s come flooding back again. Each with a name, a family, brothers, sisters, people who loved them very much. Please make time to come to the Blue Light Ceremony at any of the Riverside County Sheriff’s Station’s. Hold a candle and listen to the names of those brave men and women who gave their all read aloud in sobering reflection. If time permits please check the Department’s webpage and read more about Dirk, his ID number was 890. I can abide much, but to besmirch the memory of my friend by insinuating his Department has forgotten him is something I can not do.

Dirk will never be forgotten.

David Donowho
Riverside County Sheriff's Department, Retired

August 30, 2008

Deputy Sheriff Leonardson, thank you for your service and dedication. It is sad that after all of these years since you paid the ultimate price, your sacrifice seems to have been forgotten by your own Department. What a shame. Rest in peace.

Michelle - wife of Retired LEO

February 15, 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

You are remembered today and thank you Sir for your service


October 14, 2007

Thinking of you and your loved ones on this anniversary of your EOW. Keep watch over all of your loved ones and protect them. Also, keep watch over those still out on patrol. You have not been forgotten.

Bob Gordon
Father of Michael P. Gordon, EOW: 8/8/04

October 4, 2007

Dirk was my uncle. I was just turned four when he was killed. I think its possible that one of the only clear memories I have of him alive, when he took me to Disneyland, may have happened on this fourth birthday, in August of the year he died. It is a good memory.

Like the author of the previous reflection by my cousin, Amanda (hi Amanda)my Mom has shared many wonderful stories about uncle Dirk, her oldest brother of two. He was a protector, a problem solver, a boy and man who stood up for his sisters and brother and his mom and dad.

He babysat me often, and my mom said he loved it. As she did, and apparently I did too. She came home once to find little me and my uncle Dirk passed out on the couch together with Led Zepplin cranking and my diaper on backwards.

He was a an uncle, and brother, and son, in my memory before he was a sheriff deputy. He was too briefly a husband and a deputy.

He died young, tragically and somewhat mysteriously. But there was nothing immature, or tragic, or mysterious about how he lived and loved and served his family and community.

I do believe he is in Heaven, at peace, and loving his family and friends and fellow souls and serving and protecting us as God and Heaven allow.

Thank you for the chance to share my uncle Dirk and to honor him and his life and service in this way.


Chris Reilly

February 24, 2006

Twenty-five years after Officer Leonardson's death, I found this website in which I could post a reflection. The sad thing is that I cannot actually give a reflection because of the fact that I am his niece, born ten years after his death. My mother's told me lots of stories about my uncle and I've always enjoyed them. I want to be in law enforcement too, and when I talk to my mother about it, she says that Uncle Dirk is smiling down on me from heaven.

Amanda Adasmon

December 14, 2005

On the anniversary of your death, I salute you for your service and honor you for your sacrifice.

God bless. Rest in peace.

October 4, 2004

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