Police Chief Duggan shares officers’ sacrifices with President Trump - SanTan Sun News SanTan Sun News

Police Chief Duggan shares officers’ sacrifices with President Trump

June 2nd, 2017 development
Police Chief Duggan shares officers’ sacrifices with President Trump

By Jim Walsh


At an impromptu meeting at the National Peace Officers Memorial Service, Chandler Police Chief Sean Duggan made sure President Donald Trump was aware of his officers’ sacrifices.

Duggan handed Trump a commemorative memorial badge worn by Chandler officers in May, after Trump spoke at the annual ceremony.

In Duggan’s mind, he was representing his officers and the police profession and there was nothing political about his interaction with Trump, who has been a lightning rod for controversy since his upset victory over Hillary Clinton in November.

“It’s an honor to meet any president and I have had the honor of meeting several,’’ Duggan said.

The service took place on the Capitol Mall on May 15, which was proclaimed National Peace Officers Memorial Day in 1962 by President John F. Kennedy. It is routine for all presidents to speak at the service.

Duggan said he has met former presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush at previous ceremonies. Duggan said he also was in the White House during last year’s police week festivities and watched former President Barack Obama award some Medals of Valor, but he did not have an opportunity to meet Obama.

The ceremony is part of National Police Week, during which police departments honor fallen officers at their own police departments and at the National Law Enforcement Memorial in Washington, D.C.

But at this year’s ceremony, Duggan said he was proud to hand Trump the memorial badge, designed by Chandler police detective Nikky Kallberg.

A photo of Duggan presenting the badge to Trump appeared on social media, even though Duggan said he was not seeking any notoriety for the meeting.

“It was a matter of representing my department and our officers,’’ Duggan said.

President Trump looks at a commemorative memorial badge that was worn by Chandler officers in May, after it was given to him by Chandler Police Chief Sean Duggan. (Photos courtesy Chandler Police Department)

The Chandler police website lists four officers who were killed in the line of duty: James Snedigar, Rob Nielsen, Carlos Ledesma and David Payne. In addition, officer Bryant Holmes was killed in a traffic accident in Gilbert while riding his motorcycle to work.

Last week, Duggan attended a Coffee with a Cop meeting at a breakfast restaurant in north Chandler, where residents informally meet with officers about their public safety concerns.

Such events are part of Duggan’s philosophy of policing, which makes community engagement a high priority.

“It builds their trust in us and makes it easier for them to call us and tell us what’s going on,’’ Sgt. Emma Huenneke said. “It’s a matter of reaching out to everyone in the community. Frequently, we find small issues that affect their quality of life.’’

At this particular Coffee with a Cop event, there were at least as many police officers as residents in attendance.

“It’s just being involved in the community, finding out what is going on,’’ said Al Leibowitz, 73, a retiree from New York who volunteers with the Chandler Fire Department.

“I grew up in the Bronx and saw it deteriorate. One of the reasons is that people weren’t involved,’’ Leibowitz said.  


(Photos courtesy Chandler Police Department)
Chandler Police Chief Sean Duggan talks to President Trump at the National Peace Officers Memorial Service in Washington, D.C. on May 15.