Fallen Phoenix Police officer honored with a special tribute

Phoenix Police Officer Daryl Raetz was struck and killed by a drunk driver while performing a traffic stop in 2013.

On Monday, during an emotional ceremony, a group of officers from San Antonio, Texas delivered a special honor chair -- a way for fellow officers to keep the memory of Raetz close to their hearts as they head out on patrol.

"May 19, 2013 was an incredibly tragic day.. a day none of us will ever forget," said Assistant Chief Mike Kurtenbach.

"We mourned and we still mourn that loss today," said Officer James Holmes.

A void that can't be filled, an officer who can't be replaced.

"Daryl dedicated his life to service.  He was a NAVY corpsman, he was a Phoenix Police officer and the Maryvale precinct was his home," said Kurtenbach.

And now because of a special program, Officer Raetz will forever have a place in his home -- a seat in the Maryvale precinct's briefing room.

"Everyday at roll call, you're going to see.. you're going to remember him," said Officer Tommy Capell of the San Antonio Police Department.

Officers from San Antonio delivered the hand carved honor chair.  It's a reminder that while Officer Raetz will forever carry on the watch.

"Now when the great men and women of the Maryvale precinct walk into that briefing room, they're going to see that chair and they're going to smile," said Holmes.

Officer Raetz is survived by his wife and young daughter.  His parents attended Monday's ceremony.

"It's not opening a new wound or keeping it open, it's remembering the good things he did in life, honoring what it was," said Wayne Raetz.

"It's beautiful, it's unbelievable that people still haven't forgotten my son and are bringing his name still to life is amazing," added Cindy Raetz.  "He would be so proud as I am grateful and thankful for everything people have done.

The first honor chair dedicated outside the San Antonio Police Department honored Sean Collier, the MIT officer killed by the alleged Boston Marathon bombers.

Online:  www.savingaherosplace.org


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