Thousands pay tribute to slain Hatch Officer

Las Cruces News

It was an emotional ceremony, a celebration of life for Officer Jose Chavez who was killed in the line of duty on August 12.

Together in uniform and unity, hundreds of law enforcement agencies and community members went out on Sunday to say good bye to Hatch Officer 105.

“Knowing that your strength and legacy will be with those you have left behind and that your honor will continue with all of us. Hatch 105, you are clear for end of watch.”

Hatch Officer Chavez’s final day began with a procession through the Village of Hatch. With brothers and sisters along his side, they escorted his body to the Pan Am Center in Las Cruces.

“It wasn’t just the state or county it was the nation, we’ve got officers here from Dallas Fort Worth, Colorado, we’ve received calls from Washington DC,” says Lt. Corey Watkins with Hatch Police Department.

Fighting back tears, colleagues of Officer Chavez remembered him as a kind, charismatic man who loved animals and loved driving his Dodge Charger.

“He came to this country from Mexico. He attended Dona Ana County College in 2010, and was on the Dean’s List. In 2011, Jose became a U.S. citizen, he dreamed of becoming a police officer for many years,” Dona Ana County Sheriff Department’s Kelly Jameson says.

Colleagues say Chavez was so well trained that after he was shot,  he was still able to help identify the men who allegedly did it.

“At point point he heard two Hispanic males and one black male, Jose had the presence of mind to get an officer’s attention and correct the bolos to two white males,” says Jameson.

Govenor Susana Martinez also spoke on behalf of Officer Chavez calling him an “American Hero.” She also shared the final words in which he addressed his mother and daughters, saying “Tell my mom I love her. Tell my daughters I love them.”

Martinez says Chavez gave everything he had. “he gave his life… for his family, for his community, and for you and for me.”

Details on Chavez’s burial have yet to be released.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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