LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A baton containing the names of eight fallen law enforcement officers begins its 487-mile journey from Las Vegas to Carson City on Wednesday morning.
It’s a tradition known as the Nevada Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Relay Run. Police and other law enforcement agencies pass the baton as they run segments of the relay along the shoulder of U.S. 95 north through the towns of Indian Springs, Beatty, Goldfield, Tonopah and beyond. They are scheduled to arrive by May 4, when a memorial ceremony will take place in the courtyard surrounded by the Capitol Building, the Supreme Court and the Nevada Legislature.
Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Sheriff Kevin McMahill will run the first leg of the relay, joined by law enforcement leaders from across Southern Nevada, according to a news release provided by Metro. The relay is in its 23rd year.
The names to be added to the Nevada Law Enforcement Officers Memorial this year:
- Officer Philip Closi – LVMPD (COVID)
- Sergeant Douglas King – LVMPD (COVID)
- Senior Federal Air Marshal Shawn Hennessee – Homeland Security (COVID)
- Officer Ed Contreras – LVMPD (COVID)
- Officer Ray East – Walker River Paiute PD (COVID)
- Special Deputy Marshal Joe Gomez – U.S. Marshals Service (COVID)
- Detective Justin Terry – LVMPD (Vehicle accident)
- Officer Truong Thai – LVMPD (Killed in the line of duty)
Metro officers Closi, King and Contreras died in 2021. Hennessee and East also died in 2021. Gomez, who served at the Lloyd D. George U.S. Courthouse in Las Vegas, died in 2022.
Terry and Thai were the subject of heavy news coverage last year as the community dealt with the events surrounding their deaths. They died in separate incidents: Terry in a June 10 accident when a steel beam fell on his car as he drove to work near the Centennial Bowl in the northwest valley, and Thai, who was shot as he responded to a domestic disturbance call on Oct. 13 near East Flamingo Road and University Center Drive.
The relay is scheduled to leave Police Memorial Park in the northwest valley after a brief ceremony.