For those interested...the funeral for officer Hite will be televised tomorrow (6/10/08) in Tucson on Channel 4 (KVOA) from 10:00 am until 1:00 pm.
These images were taken by me on Sunday June 8th.
This is the cross I left at the memorial
It is traditional amongst law enforcement and military braches to leave a pair of empty boots to signify the human loss.
These badges represent all the departments and law enforcement agencies who have come to pay their respects. Tucson Fire Department was there while I was visiting.
|Hite, Erik D.|| |
| Erik D. Hite End of Watch: Monday, June 2, 2008 Badge Number: 46584 Erik D. Hite, 43, a dedicated servant of justice, retired Air Force Security Policeman and first shirt, active duty Tucson Police officer, died Monday, June 2nd. He was mortally wounded in the line of duty on Sunday morning, June 1st, and never regained consciousness. Erik was a greatly loving and greatly loved son, brother, husband, and father, as well as a Harley-riding, wisecracking, health-conscious, weightlifting, bilingual, awe-inspiring physical presence whose heart was always in the right place. He was born in Susanville, in northeastern California, on March 14, 1965, and was raised on a small farm near Janesville, also in Lassen County, where his dad was a career corrections officer at the state prison and where Erik grew up playing in the fields, working on the farm, chasing cows and building forts with his brother and sisters and cousins. Erik was born knowing that he wanted to be, and was going to be, a police officer, and as soon as he graduated from Lassen County High School in 1983, he enlisted in the Air Force in Reno, and spent the next twenty years serving as an SP. Wherever he was assigned, to whatever detail, Erik was a high-speed airman. He was good to work with, easy to talk to, and completely directed. His son Roy was born on Howard Air Force Base in Panama in 1988, where Erik was stationed as a Security Specialist. From Panama, Erik went to Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota, where he had to endure terrible winters which he did not miss at all when he was PCSed in 1992 to Kaiserslautern Air Force Base in southwestern Germany for the following six years. From Germany he was reassigned to Soto Cano Air Base, Honduras, where he met Nohemy Rodriguez-Sandoval of Comayagua, with whom he fell instantly and permanently in love. In 2000, when he returned to the United States to serve as an SP at Davis Monthan Air Force Base, he and Nohemy had been married for a year. By 2003 Erik was ready to stop moving, and retired that year from the Air Force as a Master Sergeant. He stayed with his wife and son in Tucson, and made the city his home. He joined the Tucson police force in February 2004, and had been assigned to the East Side since graduating from the academy soon after. He'd take Chispita, his Brussels-Griffon terrier, tucked inside his black leather jacket, for a ride on the Harley. He loved doing anything at all with Nohemy, and wrestling with Roy, who he could still take easily, but not as easily as he could when the kid was two years smaller. He worked full-time, as well as off-duty. He earned a Bachelor's in Science, Cum Laude, from Park University in 2007, and he had a second degree, in Criminal Justice, underway. He trained in Crisis Intervention. He graduated from TPD'S Instructor course last year as well, and immediately volunteered to help the new recruits with their training. In 2006 alone, Erik made 700 arrests, more than double the departmental average, and often led his squad in all statistics. His division captain handpicked him for traffic assignments, and he was recognized in 2005 and 2007 for his exemplary performance. "Erik was a hard charger," a fellow TPD officer said. "When he was backing you up, you knew everything would be okay." You were always glad to see him arrive and always sorry to see him go. Unless you were a perpetrator. He loved his work. He loved being settled. Last fall, Erik's father gave him a truck, a 1957 Seafoam Green Chevy pickup, named Old Blue, in pretty good condition. He loved that truck, and being a self-taught motorhead, loved working on it. He was a presence in his neighborhood: he'd wash his bike in the driveway, take walks with Nohemy and Chispita, and josh with the local kids. After he and Nohemy's treasured daughter, Samantha, was born last June, she came along on the walks too. He was crazy about Samantha: as soon as he got home from a shift, all he wanted to do was be with her. He figured out what a baby her age could learn, and taught it to her. His son Roy went to high school in Tucson, and spent most of those years wrangling with his dad over which service and in what capacity he could enlist. In May 2007, shortly after he graduated from high school, Roy entered the Air Force, to become a security policeman, just like his father had in 1983. At the end of his enlistment, he plans to become a police officer. Roy was very proud of his father. Erik was very proud of his boy. From childhood Erik intended to serve the public good, and he did exactly that, in both the Air Force and the Tucson Police Department, and did it with distinction and uncompromised honor. He lived his life fully, with great physical energy, and with the power of his convictions. He was a good man, a model airman, and a cop's cop. He did some good, every shift - on duty, and at home. Erik had complete faith in God, favored the 23rd Psalm, and was a devoted member of Saguaro Canyon Evangelical Free Church. He loved his church family as his own. In addition to his wife Nohemy, his children Samantha and Roy, and his daughter-in-law, Katie, Erik is survived by his parents, Roy and Mary Jane Hite, of Florence, Oregon; by his sister, Nevada Benton and her husband Nate, who reside in Colorado, teach Tsimshian children in Alaska, and have worked on science support in Antarctica; his sister Royleen Mahic, of Chico, California; and by his brother, Sean Hite, also of California. He is loved and remembered as well by many other relatives, many friends, and his brothers and sisters in law enforcement around the world. "Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world's grief. Do justly, now. Love mercy, now. You are not obligated to complete this work, but neither are you free to abandon it." Viewing from 8:00 to 10:00 p.m. on Monday, June 9, 2008 at ADAIR FUNERAL HOMES, Dodge Chapel, 1050 N. Dodge Blvd. Funeral services at 10:00 a.m. Tuesday at Pantano Christian Church, 10355 E. 29th St. Donations to the Hite family can be made through any Wells Fargo bank, indicating the TPD Officer Erik Hite Benefit Fund No. 2475164071. |
|Published in the Tucson Newspapers on 6/8/2008.|