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‘We will never forget their service’: Officers killed in the line of duty honored

Updated May 20, 2022 - 9:24 am

Four Southern Nevada law enforcement officers who died in the line of duty were honored Thursday at Las Vegas City Hall.

Metropolitan Police Department Lt. Erik Lloyd, Metro officer Jason Swanger, Pahrump Justice Court bailiff Gerald Smith and Nevada Highway Patrol trooper Micah May will be added to the memorial wall at Police Memorial Park, which includes 51 names.

The ceremony normally is held at the park, but because of high winds, it moved to Las Vegas City Hall.

Family members of the four men were escorted into council chambers by representatives of different Southern Nevada law enforcement agencies. Some of the loved ones held white flowers.

“We can’t pretend to know your pain, but we can promise you we will never forget their service, sacrifice to our community,” Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo said.

A multiagency honor guard marched in as bagpipes and drums were played.

Lombardo praised fellow speakers Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman and Mayor Pro Tem Stavros Anthony for supporting law enforcement.

“When someone chooses a career in law enforcement, they choose others over themselves,” Lombardo said. “They protect and serve even when it costs them time away from their families or even their lives.”

Goodman called the memorial the “most humbling of observances.”

During her remarks she honored Joseph Wilcox, the first person added to the civilian memorial established at the park, 3250 Metro Academy Way. Wilcox tried to stop two people who had killed Las Vegas police officers Igor Soldo and Alyn Beck in June 2014.

A picture of the civilian memorial was unveiled for Wilcox’s mother, who shared a tearful embrace with Goodman.

“All I can hope is that every human being that lives in this community needs to know: You need to do more,” Goodman said.

“The hatred and anger and self-serving needs to go away. This is about their lives and how we can go forward showing the world that we care.”

Anthony talked about the “sacred ground” at Police Memorial Park and introduced an artist’s rendering of the K9 Memorial Plaza that will be added to the park.

The ceremony included a rendition of taps on the trumpet, “Amazing Grace” on the bagpipes and the singing of “America the Beautiful.” The honor guard fired a 21-gun salute.

The names of every officer engraved into the memorial wall were read aloud.

Metro officers Swanger and Lloyd died of COVID-19. The widows of Las Vegas police officers Phil Closi and Douglas King criticized Metro for not considering their husbands’ deaths as a result of the virus line-of-duty deaths.

Lombardo makes the final decision on whether an officer’s death is considered a line-of-duty death, according to the department.

“Anytime we lose an officer it is devastating for LVMPD, the families and for our community. We are grateful for their service, and they will never be forgotten,” Lombardo wrote in a statement to the Las Vegas Review-Journal this month.

Contact David Wilson at dwilson@reviewjournal.com. Follow @davidwilson_RJ on Twitter.

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