PHOENIX -- Colleagues of Officer Daryl Raetz say words cannot describe the tragedy and pain of their loss, but their mission now is to honor the fallen officer’s memory.
Dozens filled Shadow Mountain Mortuary Friday night for his visitation, on the eve of his public funeral service.
“Daryl was one of those officers who was truly loved,” said Commander Mike Kurtenbach. “He was loved by his fellow officers; he was loved by his family. Daryl is somebody who will never be forgotten.”
Loved ones say Officer Raetz was killed performing the job he loved. Raetz was killed in the line of duty early Sunday morning, while processing the scene of a DUI stop. Police say another driver hit him and then took off.
Officer Raetz served Phoenix Police for the past six years. Before that, he served in the Navy, completing two tours in Iraq.
Commander Kurtenbach told 3TV his spirit of service ran deep. So did his work ethic.
“He was one of those guys that would go full speed, 100 percent of the time. He would never say ‘no,’” said Kurtenbach.
Beyond the force, friends say Raetz will be remembered for his dedication to his wife and family.
Friends placed some of his favorite toys and ATVs in front of Shadow Mountain Mortuary during the visitation, along with his daughter’s pink ATV.
His daughter, Tatum, just graduated from kindergarten this week. Since Officer Raetz couldn’t be there, his Phoenix police family stood in; an emotional show of support which his colleagues say will only continue.
“We take care of our own far beyond the funeral,” said Commander Kurtenbach. “We will be inextricably linked to the Raetz family for the rest of our lives and theirs, and we won’t go away.”
The public funeral for Officer Raetz will be held Saturday beginning at 9 a.m. at Christ’s Church of the Valley in Peoria.