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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of New Mexico

Sunday, August 21, 2016

U.S. Attorney Damon P. Martinez Pays Tribute to Hatch Police Officer Jose Chavez

Remarks as prepared for delivery

ALBUQUERQUE – U.S. Attorney Damon P. Martinez paid tribute to Officer Jose Ismael Chavez of the Hatch Police Department this afternoon during the Officer’s public funeral service at the Pan American Center of New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, N.M.  The U.S. Attorney’s remarks are set forth below.

“This afternoon, I have the privilege and honor of representing the federal law enforcement community during this solemn event.

“In these modern times, with all the stresses and complexities of life that pull us apart as a community, we know that there are certain truths that continue to bind us together.  The police officer is a constant stabilizing force in our society who was present at the creation of our great nation and who continues to represent that part of our community that maintains law and order.

“In New Mexico, our local, county, state, tribal and federal law enforcement officers comprise one team.  In New Mexico, we support our law enforcement officers, and this outpouring today is an example of our support.  One officer killed in the line of duty us one officer too many, and we, as a community, must support a culture in which violence against law enforcement officers is unacceptable. 

“Today, we offer our deepest condolences to the family of Officer Jose Chavez and pay tribute to his life.  In wearing the badge, Officer Chavez stood for justice.  In wearing the badge, Officer Chavez was dedicated to something greater than himself.  In wearing the badge, Officer Chavez was a deeply heroic person who placed himself between good and evil.

“But Officer Chavez was not solely defined by his job.  Officer Chavez was also a member of our community.  He was also a son, a devoted partner, and a loving father.  And he was a person who lived by integrity, and to whom we owe a great debt.  A debt which can only be repaid by ensuring that his family and his daughters know the full support of the community; that the family and daughters of this fallen hero are never forgotten; and that the cause for which he sacrificed his life – the safety of the community – remains a top priority.

“At this time, I would like to read one of the two letters that U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch has sent to Officer Chavez’s family.”

USAG Letter Officer Chavez

Updated August 22, 2016