More than 300 law enforcement officers, family members and citizens gathered on the Legislative quad Thursday to honor three additions to the memorial to those who died in the line of duty.
The most recent addition to the Nevada Law Enforcement Officers Memorial was Metropolitan Police Search and Rescue specialist David Vanbuskirk, who died while trying to rescue a hiker stranded on a Mount Charleston ledge.
Clark County Sheriff Doug Gillespie said Vanbuskirk, 36, was lowered from the rescue helicopter to the ledge the night of July 22, 2013, and connected the hiker and himself to the hoist cable. But as they were winched aboard the helicopter, Vanbuskirk’s harness detached from the line.
The officer fell to his death in the canyon. The hiker survived.
Vanbuskirk is survived by his wife, Adrianna, and “a very large extended family,” said the sheriff.
Gov. Brian Sandoval said Vanbuskirk, the other two honorees and the more than 120 people whose names are on the memorial put themselves in danger to provide the rest of society.
Sandoval praised their efforts “so we can all go about our lives in safety.”
“It’s unfortunate that we have to pay a terrible price for this safety,” he said.
The other two added to the memorial this year were watchmen Jose Sancedo and John Montague, both of the Southern Pacific Police. Sancedo was shot four times by assailants in 1937 at the Sparks rail yard. Montague was hit by a switch engine and killed while on patrol at the Paradise yard.
Memorial spokesman Frank Adams said there were 100 members of this year’s honor guard representing most of the police agencies in the state and at least that many more officers who turned out to participate.