LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Metro police were out of uniform for a good cause Wednesday morning, running the roads in sneakers and shorts as the Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Relay Run got started.
They’re long gone now — somewhere along U.S. 95 between Las Vegas and Beatty — on their way to Carson City and the Law Enforcement Officers Memorial, where the names of eight officers have been added this year. It’s a 487-mile journey shared by law enforcement from all over the state, who run segments of the relay.
Sheriff Kevin McMahill spoke at Police Memorial Park, located off Cheyenne Avenue in the far northwest valley, remembering five Metro officers who were among the eight. The full list:
- Officer Philip Closi – LVMPD
- Sergeant Douglas King – LVMPD
- Senior Federal Air Marshal Shawn Hennessee – Homeland Security
- Officer Ed Contreras – LVMPD
- Officer Ray East – Walker River Paiute PD
- Special Deputy Marshal Joe Gomez – U.S. Marshals Service
- Detective Justin Terry – LVMPD
- Officer Truong Thai – LVMPD
The event brings together law enforcement agencies in Southern Nevada, and family members were on hand for the ceremony.
Scarlett King, a young daughter of Sgt. Douglas King, said she wanted to thank everyone. Her father died of COVID-19 in 2021, among three Metro employees who were COVID victims. The others were officers Philip Closi and Ed Contreras. Hennessee, East and Gomez also died of COVID.
“We’re just thankful that my dad finally got honored, because we’ve been fighting for almost two years,” Scarlett said. More of the King family — Douglas King’s father and a brother-in-law — were in law enforcement.
Jennifer Closi and her son Jacob took part in the event, with Jacob running the second leg of the relay.
“I think they did a great job of memorializing them. As family, our biggest fear is that they’re going to be forgotten and I feel very confident today that they’re not going to be forgotten,” Jennifer Closi said.
It was McMahill’s first memorial run since becoming sheriff, and he led the first group out of the park, then east on Gowan Road to Fort Apache Road.
Groups from two schools, Darnell Elementary and Thompson Elementary, cheered runners as they came up Fort Apache. Runners took a left at Grand Teton Drive then a right at Grand Canyon Drive before arriving at Skye Canyon Park Drive and ascending the U.S. 95 overpass. From there, the Metro police escort handed off to Nevada State Police, with runners on the right shoulder of the road.
Along the way, Minddie Lloyd, widow of Lt. Erik Lloyd — who was added to the memorial in 2021 — was running in the event with her daughter. Minddie Lloyd called the run “exhausting,” but she was thankful for the opportunity to remember her husband, and all the officers who have provided support. She works with the Injured Police Officers Fund (IPOF) and a number of community organizations.
Alex Cuevas, a North Las Vegas police officer who works with IPOF, and several other officers were wearing jerseys in honor of Erik Lloyd.