A Brief History of the Peace Officer Memorial

In 1987, a call came from the National Law Enforcement Memorial for a list of Nevada officers who were killed in the line of duty. It was soon realized that there was not a comprehensive list available, so a statewide effort was made to create a list that could be used by the National Law Enforcement Memorial. The memorial was being dedicated in Washington D.C. to all American law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty. In the spring of 1988, the idea of building a memorial to the Nevada Peace Officers that had died in the line of duty started to take shape in the minds of several local Washoe County and Reno police officers. The memorial was named after Reno Police Officer James Hoff who was killed in 1979 while working undercover narcotics case by the suspects he was investigating. In the summer of 1988, a site had been approved in Idlewild Park and construction stated. The memorial was dedicated on October 22, 1988. As a Nevada Officer fell in the line of duty, each year that name would be added to the memorial.

Research into Nevada’s history revealed a number of officers that had been killed in the line of duty but never honored with a plaque on the memorial. In 1993, a project was started by the James Hoff Peace Officers Memorial Committee to honor all of Nevada’s fallen officers. Since that time a number of fallen officers from the past have been identified and enshrined.  Our historian continues his research to this day.

In addition to honoring those officers that made the ultimate sacrifice, the Memorial Committee also recognizes those officers that during the prior year were placed in harm’s way and survived. The officers are nominated by their respective agency and the memorial committee reviews the details of the incident to determine if they meet the survivor criteria. Those that do are awarded a survivor plaque and recognized for their heroism.

  • View a full list of Officers currently enshrined on the memorial wall.