Arizona Peace Officers Memorial
In 1986, Representative Jim Skelly introduced House Bill 2486, which commissioned the creation of the Arizona Peace Officers Memorial. It was dedicated two years later on May 20, 1988 in honor of all Arizona police officers who had lost their lives in the line of duty.
The eleven foot statue depicts an old west law-enforcement officer with his foot propped on a rock, his hat in his hand and his head bowed. Beneath him, at the base of the sculpture, are the names of every police officer who has lost their life in the line of duty since Arizona was established as a territory in 1863.
Many people believe the sculpture is Wyatt Earp, but the real model for the memorial was Gordon Selby. Selby was a vetran of the Phoenix police force and the Department of Public Safety. During his time as an officer, he was both respected and admired. Mr. Selby passed away in January 2014. His wife, Linda Selby, said that being a part of the project meant a great deal to him. She went on to say that his involvement was the thing that he was most proud of.
Police lodges and law enforcement agencies are responsible for the memorial’s upkeep. During a special ceremony each year, the memorial is updated to include new names of fallen officers.