Officer Down, Hearts Break – Buz Williams

We went to the Rodeo last Thursday, June 30, 2022. Quite appropriately, it was First Responder Night, honoring law enforcement, firefighters and emergency medical providers. It was appropriate, because two days before, Yavapai County Sheriff Sergeant Richard Lopez, was killed in the line of duty in Cortes Lakes, Arizona. In a special ceremony prior to the start of the rodeo, each law enforcement agency in the county was represented when each of their duty vehicles was driven into the rodeo arena. The announcer told about Sergeant “R-Lo” Lopez, a much admired member of the Sheriffs Department. He was beloved within the department and the community as whole. He’s survived by his wife and two daughters.

Having worked in law enforcement and coming from a police family, my heart breaks whenever I hear of an officer, anywhere succumbing to violence. As a child, I felt the dread police families feel when they see a squad car pull up in front of the house, knowing that their father, mother, sister or brother officer was late coming home from work. Fortunately, for my family, this was to notify us that although my dad was critically injured in an on duty vehicle accident, he was alive. Almost two years latter, after my father made a full recovery, another police car came with another notification. This time, when my mother saw the officers getting out of their car, she became hysterical because she just knew my father had died. This time he and his partner were pursuing organized crime thugs who had just burglarized a fur store. Again, fortunately, although seriously injured, dad survived and was able to return to work.

No words are adequate to express the feelings of loss and sorrow that the Lopez family is experiencing. They are also being felt by the Yavapai County Sheriff’s extended family and all law enforcement officers, locally and nationwide. The community that Sergeant Lopez served has expressed their heartache at the passing of this great, kind, loving cop, who went to work every day wanting to serve and make his community a better and safer place. May he Rest in Peace and my his family be consoled by the love and gratitude shown by those he served, those he worked with and those who appreciate the sacrifice of Sergeant Lopez and his family.


1 thought on “Officer Down, Hearts Break – Buz Williams”

  1. Richard Lopez will be remembered as one of the finest good guys around.

    Great tribute to him, Buz.

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