The City of Tempe wishes to honor those police officers and firefighters who have given their lives in the line of duty. Please read more about some of Tempe's heroes.
Detective Russell Elden Welker
Years of Service: 10
End of Watch: May 15, 2009
About Detective Welker: Detective Welker was assigned to Auto Theft Investigations at the time of his death and he had the unique honor of working at the same time as his father, Terry Welker, a 30+ year veteran of the Tempe Police Department. He was a 10-year veteran of the department. He is survived by his wife, two daughters, his parents and sister.
Officer Kevin Louis Weeks
Years of Service: 7
End of Watch: September 28, 2006
Cause: Motorcycle Collision
About Officer Weeks: Officer Kevin Weeks was involved in an on-duty motorcycle collision on the Loop 101 near Broadway Road. Officer Weeks was a 7-year veteran of the department. He is survived by his parents, sister, and girlfriend.
Officer Robert Lyle Hawk
Years of Service: 1.5
End of Watch: September 24, 1988
Cause: Vehicular Assault
About Officer Hawk: Officer Robert Hawk was struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver while conducting a traffic stop on the Superstition Freeway. He was struck as he returned to his vehicle after talking with the driver of the vehicle he had stopped. Hawk had been with the agency for 18 months and was survived by his wife and two sons.
Lt. John Eaton Bradshaw
Years of Service: 20
End of Watch: Sept. 20, 1987
About Lieutenant Bradshaw: Lieutenant John Bradshaw was shot and killed while responding to a call for assistance from another officer. The officer's weapon had been stolen by an inmate he was transporting to the hospital. During the incident, the suspect then took a passing motorcycle operator hostage and fled the scene. Lieutenant Bradshaw stopped up the road from the suspect and waited for his arrival at Hohokam Highway and University Drive. When the suspect saw Lt. Bradshaw’s patrol car, he fired one shot which struck Lt. Bradshaw in the chest. At the time of the incident, Lt. Bradshaw had served with the Tempe Police Department for 20 years. He was survived by his wife and four children.
Firefighter/Paramedic Ed Gaicki
Years of Service: 6
Last Call: Jan. 15, 1980
Cause: Roof Collapse
About Firefighter/Paramedic Gaicki: During a four-alarm blaze at the Jumbo Bagel Deli which was located at Apache and Gary, now known as Chief Jones Way, the structure’s roof collapsed on Firefighter Gaicki and eight other firefighters. Firefighter Gaicki was trained as a paramedic and was nominated for the Tempe Jaycee’s Annual Outstanding Young Firefighter of the Year Award just five days before his death. Firefighter Gaicki graduated McClintock High School in 1970, where he was an All-State football player and the president of the senior class. Gaicki accepted an appointment into the United States Air Force Academy, although the desire to be a firefighter for the City of Tempe was his true dream. At the time of his death, Firefighter Gaicki was on track to promote to the rank of Captain, which would have made him the first Captain/Paramedic in the department.
Night Marshal Cyrus Spangler
End of Watch: Jan. 11, 1921
About Night Marshal Spangler: Marshal Cyrus Spangler was shot and killed by two men while responding to a robbery in progress at a store located at 6th Street and Mill Avenue. During the incident, an 11-year-old boy was also shot and killed and the shop’s proprietor was seriously wounded. Three days later, both suspects were shot and killed in a gunfight with US Immigration Inspectors in Calabasas, Arizona.
Officer Albert Nettle
End of Watch: May 18, 1919
About Officer Nettle: Officer Nettle was shot and killed during a jail break from Tempe City Jail.
End of Watch: October 29, 2014
Cause: Medical event / Seizure
About Deuce: K-9 Deuce was a full bred German Shepard who was born in Germany on June 05, 2005. He joined the Tempe Police K-9 Unit in 2008, and was trained in suspect apprehension and narcotics detection. K-9 Deuce especially excelled in narcotics detection, having over 300 narcotic finds during his career. On the evening of October 29, 2014, Deuce and his handler, Sgt. Jeff McHenry engaged in weekly proficiency training involving engaging and biting a suspect decoy. After completing the training scenario and receiving his reward, Deuce experienced a neurological event believed to be a seizure. Deuce was given CPR at the scene and was transported to an emergency veterinary hospital. Despite all efforts, Deuce could not be revived. He passed with his handler, Sgt. McHenry and the Tempe PD K-9 Unit at his side.
End of Watch: July 1, 2008
About Baloo: K-9 Baloo was a patrol-trained and narcotics-trained police dog. He joined the Tempe Police Department in 2004. On the evening of June 30, 2008, Officer John Holdinsky and Baloo, responded to a call about two male suspects who were possibly attempting to steal copper. The suspects were last seen running into the fenced-in Farmer Street Lofts Project, which was under construction. Baloo was searching the roof and fell more than 40 feet. Veterinarians worked valiantly to save K-9 Baloo, but the dog passed away with his handler, Holdinsky and his wife, Carol, and members of the Tempe K-9 Unit at his side.
End of Watch: Nov. 21, 1986
About Murph: K-9 Murph became a Tempe Police K-9 on February 1981. Along with his handler, K-9 Handler Ofc. C. Araiza, the two participated in 336 building searches, 348 area searches, 24 narcotic searches and arrested 45 felony suspects. Araiza and Murph had received eight departmental commendations during their assignment together. On Nov. 21, 1986, an armed suspect who had shot a Scottsdale Police Officer and injured several other citizens in Scottsdale, fled into Tempe. Officer David Lewis pursued the suspect even though his patrol car had been struck by gunfire. During the pursuit, the suspect kidnapped 6-year-old Robbie Hughes as he was walking home from Meyer School and held him hostage. Sgt. Ralph Tranter tried to rescue the boy. He was shot in the face and yet still managed to locate the young hostage and drag the hostage to safety. Officer Araiza sent Murph into the home to confront the suspect while other members of the tactical team forced entry through the front door. Tragically, Murph was shot by the suspect and later died of his wounds. Murph heroically assisted Tempe officers with arresting this very dangerous suspect and bringing this incident to an end.
Support Tempe Public Safety:
Funds are being raised now to build a memorial to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice to protect us. You can donate to the Tempe Public Safety Memorial.
Those interested in supporting our current public safety teams may donate to the Tempe Police Foundation or the Firefighters Association.