Tucson DPS officer killed in Nebraska plane crash

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TUCSON - The following is a press release from the Department of Public Safety:

The Arizona Department of Public Safety sadly announces the loss of Officer Allen Peterson.Officer Peterson, 51, from Tucson, Arizona, died on June 11, 2009 when the aircraft he was piloting crashed near Ogallala, Nebraska.The cause of the crash is under investigation at this time.

"Officer Allen Peterson served the department and the citizen's of Arizona with dignity and honor.His friends and co-workers know Allen as a mild-mannered individual always employing a gentle touch to every situation.Allen will be remembered by all of his peers as a selfless hero with a passion for flying and helping others.He will be missed but not forgotten", stated Lieutenant Daniel Lugo, Commander of the DPS Highway Patrol Bureau District Eight, centered in Tucson, Arizona.

Allen Peterson, a 24-year veteran of DPS, was hired by the agency on April 28, 1985.After completing academy training, Peterson was assigned as a Highway Patrol officer in Willcox, Arizona.He remained in the Willcox area until 1992 when he was re-assigned to a highway patrol squad in Tucson, Arizona.In 1994, after completing the required training, Peterson was assigned as a motorcycle officer in the Tucson area.He remained in this assignment until 2000 when he transferred back onto a highway patrol road squad.In 2002 Peterson transferred to the DPS Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Bureau and became a motor vehicle inspector in the Tucson area.In January of 2009, Peterson transferred back to the Highway Patrol Bureau and served exceptionally with another highway patrol squad.In this and all of the assignments in which he served, Peterson made a positive difference in making highway travel safer in the Tucson area.

Funeral arrangements are pending at this time.