Slain Nye deputy remembered at memorial
An emotional Nye County Sheriff Tony De Meo shared the details of the last time he saw Deputy Ian Deutch, the state’s only officer killed in the line of duty last year.
De Meo said when he arrived on the scene after Deutch was shot, he saw paramedics working on the wounded officer as he lie on the ground.
“While they were treating Ian, I was holding one hand and Detective Eric Murphy was holding the other. We kept telling Ian to keep in the fight. He told Eric and I he was going to be OK,” said De Meo, fighting back tears as he spoke Thursday to hundreds at the Nevada Law Enforcement Memorial Ceremony on the Legislative Plaza. “Once in the ambulance. I yelled in the side door for Ian to keep in the fight, keep fighting. He raised his left arm to reach out to me and I held it and he said it would be OK. And that night he died.”
Deutch, 28, was back on duty just two days with the Nye County Sheriff’s Office after serving with the National Guard in Afghanistan when he was gunned down on April 26, 2010, outside a Pahrump casino.
“Two days back on the job, so far away from that combat theater in Afghanistan where he and his brother had served those many months, he was killed. Those that wish to do extreme evil are not only confined to the combat zones. They live here among us,” said De Meo.
Thursday event was the state’s 13th memorial for Nevada’s fallen peace officers on the Capitol Mall.
A baton holding the names of the 117 officers killed in the line of duty in Nevada since 1861 left Las Vegas on April 28 and was passed off to various law enforcement officers in a week-long relay run.
Deutch’s brother Nye County Sheriff’s Deputy Jay Deutch delivered the baton with a Carson City SWAT team escort to his brother’s children, son Jonathen and daughter, Savonya. The children were then escorted to the memorial by Jay Deutch, who lifted Savonya up so she could place the baton on a cradle.
Keynote speaker, Gov. Brian Sandoval asked those in attendance to applaud Deutch’s family for Deutch’s sacrifice and service.
“We are here because heroes gave their lives for us,” said Sandoval in his first memorial address as governor. “We also honor the heroes who survive deadly force encounters. Everyday the men and women of law enforcement willingly put themselves in harms way. They go to work not knowing from one moment to next what might happen. And yet they do not hesitate, they do not waver, they do not blink. On average one law enforcement officers is killed in the line of duty somewhere in the united states every 53 hours. More than 19,000 law enforcement officers have made the ultimate sacrifice.”
In addition to Deutch, three others were added to the memorial wall: Reno Police Officer Harry Brown killed Sept. 26, 1905; Reno Police Officer Wilson Fugate killed July 2, 1939; and Washoe County Sheriff’s Deputy Harry Swaney killed Aug. 12, 1935.
“Preparedness and public safety are not 9 to 5 jobs,” said Sandoval. “The sacrifice of family and friends of law enforcement is also quite real and is something we should salute as well.”
Sandoval quoted two inscriptions from the national peace officer’s memorial in Washington D.C.
“The second is more poignant and perhaps even more suitable as we stand here today on the Capitol mall. It says simply, ‘Their children can never forget, nor should we.’ Ladies and gentlemen, on behalf of the people of the great states of Nevada I ask each one of us to hold this idea close to our hearts,” he said. “We commemorate heroes today at this single event, but let us never forget the sacrifices marked on this occasion. Every day, every hour, every minute, every second, law enforcement’s officers go to work and put their lives on the line for all of us. Let us never, never forget what they risk and what they have done for us.”