Historical marker dedicated to fallen police officer - FOX 10 News | fox10phoenix.com

Historical marker dedicated to fallen police officer

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Officer Daryl Raetz (file) Officer Daryl Raetz (file)
Jesus Molina Jesus Molina
PHOENIX (KSAZ) - A Phoenix police officer killed in the line of duty was honored by the very community he worked to protect.

Officer Daryl Raetz was struck by a hit and run driver one year ago while conducting a DUI stop.

A historical marker was dedicated in his name on Tuesday.

"He has a lot of family and a lot of friends that looked up to him and he meant a lot to them.. they have a lot of pride for him."

Overcome by emotion and pride, Stephanie Raetz stood on 51st Avenue and Cambridge to help unveil a historical marker in her late husband's honor.

"He wanted to be a Phoenix police officer, he fulfilled that dream.. we will never forget that sacrifice," said Chief Daniel Garcia.

Garcia described Raetz as a hero, a man who went above and beyond.

A six-year veteran with the department, Officer Raetz was making an arrest for DUI near the intersection of 51st Avenue and Thomas.  It was 3:30 a.m. when a passing vehicle struck him.  The driver fled the scene and Raetz was pronounced dead at a local hospital.

"I think it brings those of us who were here May 19, 2013 back to that day," said Commander Michael Kurtenbach of the Maryvale precinct.  "It was the unthinkable tragedy."

The historic marker was placed in almost the exact spot where Officer Raetz was killed -- a place for fellow officers to come and remember him and the community as well.

"He wanted to work in Maryvale precinct and give back to those who gave so much to him," said Kurtenbach.  "When they see the sign they're going to know that he did pay the ultimate sacrifice."

Along with her memories, Stephanie now has another reason to smile -- to know ho much Officer Raetz meant to those who knew and worked with him.

The driver of the vehicle that fled the scene, Jesus Molina, was arrested the following day and faces multiple charges in Officer Raetz's death.

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