Fallen Phoenix Officer's Name To Be Added To National Memorial

Nikki Gaskins

PHOENIX, AZ—Eighty-nine law enforcement officers were killed in line-of-duty incidents in 2019, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Phoenix police officer Paul Rutherford was among them. To honor his memory, his name along with 307 others will be added to the National Law Enforcement Memorial in Washington, DC on Wednesday.

Rutherford lost his life after a vehicle struck and killed him near the intersection of 75th Avenue and Indian School Road on the morning of March 21, 2019. Rutherford was a U.S. Air Force veteran and had served with the Phoenix Police Department for 23 years.

The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial is the nation’s monument to law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty. The memorial honors federal, state and local law enforcement officers who have made the ultimate sacrifice.

It features two curving, 304-foot-long blue-gray marble walls. Carved on these walls are the names of more than 21,000 officers who have been killed in the line of duty throughout U.S. history, dating back to the first known death in 1786.

Unlike many other memorials in Washington, DC, the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial is ever-changing: new names of fallen officers are added to the monument each spring, in conjunction with National Police Week.

Wednesday's 32nd Annual Candlelight Vigil honoring law enforcement officers nationwide who died in the duty will take virtually 8 p.m. EST due to the coronavirus. To watch, visit this link.

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This article originally appeared on the Phoenix Patch