On Sept. 18 in the evening hours, Cochise County Sheriff Larry Dever was involved in a fatal vehicle accident near Williams. Private funeral services were held for the sheriff and his mother, Annie Dever, who passed away four days prior to the sheriff on Sept. 22.
A public memorial service was held at Buena High School in Sierra Vista on Sept. 26. It was attended by citizens from our communities as well as by representatives of law enforcement agencies across the state and nation. The exact number of people who attended was not calculated, however, attendees were well over the capacity for the main auditorium and overflowed into the cafeteria.
This was a difficult event to organize and an even harder one to attend, specifically for the biological family, the organizational family and all of those who knew him. We, as in the Cochise County Sheriff’s Office, would not have been able to honor the man who was known as THE Cochise County Sheriff in any true measure without the help and organizational skills of the amazingly compassionate, kind and competent Rick and Margaret Klein from Buena High School who made this event flow from beginning to end. The entire Buena staff was all so incredible and, as with any event that has these names associated with it, we were confident that even in our fractured world, we would get through this a little stronger.
The Cochise County Sheriff’s Office Honor Guard worked diligently to ensure that they were the face of our office, and it is with great pride that we acknowledge how professional their actions were to honor our fallen leader, as were all of the law enforcement honor guards who made this event.
There are so many others who were also an integral part of the final service, to include the speakers: Chief Ken Kimmel, Chief Randy Redmond, Sheriff Ralph Ogden, Sheriff Harold Eavenson, Sheriff Aaron Kennard, Senator Jon Kyl, commentator Pat Call, and me.
For the photography and news feed, we were fortunate to have Ty Holland who is always a source of support for the Sheriff’s Office, Mark Levy from the Sierra Vista Herald, and KVOA Channel 4 News for the television coverage.
As for the support from the Fort Huachuca Public Affairs Office, Angela Moncur and Tanja Linton we say, “Thank you for agreeing to take on the role of Media Management, as we were not in a position to accomplish that task in fairness to all.”
To the Sierra Vista Police Department for the logistics with traffic control and on-site security management, we have no other words to convey our appreciation other than “Thank You.”
It is our sincerest wish that we be able to adequately express our humble thoughts and gratitude to all of those who called to offer assistance, provide service in covering our patrol areas and our communications and our records needs, as well as to just lend an ear to listen or shoulder to cry on. We can only pray that this tragedy does not befall any other law enforcement agency, but suffice it to say that if the unthinkable happens, we will be there.
God Bless our wonderful County and the incredible citizens we have living here.
Thank You for the community support of the Sheriff’s Office.
Chief Deputy Rod Rothrock