Yesterday our state remembered Gilbert Police Officer Rob Targosz who died while on duty this past Saturday working on a DUI enforcement detail. A suspected impaired driver ran a red light and collided with Officer Targosz’s motorcycle. The driver and passenger then fled on foot without attempting to help the injured officer. In our line of work, we see lots of tragedy. We can only hope that the tragedy that Officer Tragosz’s family and the Gilbert Police Department has had to endure will serve as a reminder to drivers and businesses alike to realize the dangers of excessive drinking and driving. A peace officers memorial next to the Arizona capital contains the names of all officers in Arizona who have died in the line of duty. We salute those brave officers who have sacrificed so much to protect citizens of our state.
Out of the tragic stories which we see far too often, we also see hope and a quest for change. This past weekend, I attended the second annual MADD Arizona “Making a Difference Together” law enforcement appreciation dinner. At this event, MADD recognized more than 500 law enforcement officers from around the state for their dedication and service to our community. This recognition ceremony served to empower both officers and citizens alike to recognize the dangers of impaired driving. Based on the tragic events involving the City of Gilbert Police Department, such events like thse can make a real difference. Our sincere condolences go out to the families of this brave Gilbert Police Officer.