Days after losing officer Jose Chavez to an act of violence, members of the Elmore Police Department were still trying to come to terms with the sudden death of the man known as Andy to friends and colleagues.
“I don’t think the reality has set in around here yet,” Chief George Hayes said Wednesday.
Hayes said he received a call at 3 a.m. notifying him of the shooting of the 26-year-old Chavez.
Chavez was off duty and belatedly celebrating his birthday at a tavern March 9 in Fremont when he and two others were shot and killed during an altercation.
|Officer Jose "Andy" Chavez|
With only four full-time and three part-time officers on the Elmore department’s roster, the impact of the loss of Chavez has been profound, the chief said.
“He was an excellent officer with a good personality,” Hayes said. “He was a well liked individual.”
A statement issued by Sgt. Jeffrey Harrison the day of the shooting describe Chavez as “an exemplary officer in good standing with the department.”
Chavez lived in Woodville with his wife and two children. He was an auxiliary member of the Woodville Police Department and worked full-time with a private security firm in Toledo before joining the Elmore department as a full-time officer in January 2012.
“He would have gone far,” Chief Hayes said. “He was well educated and very articulate.”
The chief described Chavez as his “go-to man” for the funeral procession last October for former Elmore mayor Lowell Krumnow.
“He was on the motor scooter and was able to get wherever we needed him to be for traffic control or crowd control. He got around a lot better on that thing than I could have,” Hayes said.
Like many of the officers in the department, Chavez found conducting investigations of crimes an especially interesting part of his job, the chief said.
Flags were at half staff in the village and a sign near the fire station on Rice Street bore the message: “Rest in peace Officer Chavez you will not be forgotten.”
Chief Hayes said a funeral service was scheduled for Saturday, March 15 at 11 a.m. at Woodmore High School.
Law enforcement personnel were to escort the hearse from the Marsh Funeral Home in Woodville to the high school.