Hoff Memorial Honors Fallen Officers

RENO, NV - The James D. Hoff Peace Officers Memorial in Reno’s Idlewild Park contains the names of peace officers who have died in the line of duty.

Friday, in ceremonies steeped in pomp and circumstance, that sad list grew by three names.

It's the 25th year officers from all over the state have gathered here for this ceremony.

They come to honor fallen comrades and to recognize those who through their own bravery and training survived dangerous encounters.

Sadly, each of those years it seems the number of names on the memorial's wall has grown.

The three names were added this year were all from southern Nevada, a Clark County deputy sheriff killed in a 1943 traffic accident, a D-E-A agent and a correctional officer who both died of complications from injuries suffered on duty.

Their names were new to us here in the north, but they join others more familiar, John Bohach, George Sullivan, Larry Johnson, Carlos Borland and, of course, James Hoff.

Few events have so shocked our community as the murder of the 33 year old undercover officer in 1979, not far from this spot. A series of errors and communication failures left him helpless in the hands of a crew of young drug dealers. Fellow officers nearby never knew he was in trouble until it was too late.

Jimmy Hoff's death brought a number of changes to the Reno Police Department and eventually inspired the construction of the memorial that bears his name.

Each year members of his family begin this ceremony, placing a wreath at the memorial, an act of both pride and grief.

Just to represent the love that we feel for the officers because as they always say they don't know if they're going to make it home. Unfortunately my brother didn't," says Hoff’s sister Sandra Hutchinson.
“It’s a legacy I’m proud of, but I wouldn’t wish on anyone.”

Next May officers will once again gather here. The hope is they will be adding no new names. History tells us that's unlikely, something all Nevadans should remember today.

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