Chandler Police Department hosted a memorial and prayer service Monday to honor three Chandler officers who have died in the line of duty.
• Officer Rob Nielsen who died on June 12, 2002, when his Ford Crown Victoria patrol car exploded in a collision while responding to another car crash.
• Officer James Snedigar who was fatally shot on April 16, 1999, while entering an apartment where armed robbers were hiding.
• Officer Richard Felix who suffered a heart attack and died on September 9, 1995.
Chandler hosted the memorial about two hours before the annual Arizona Peace Officer’s Memorial Service at Wesley-Bolin Plaza in Phoenix to give residents a chance to honor fallen Chandler police officers, said police detective Emma Bribiescas.
Nielsen also was scheduled to be honored at the Phoenix ceremony, along with U.S. Border Patrol Agent Javier Duran, National Park Service ranger Kris Eggles, and Phoenix police officer B. Wayne Scott, all killed in the line of duty.
The memorials are held every year and usually draw a good turnout, said Phoenix police Sgt. Randy Force.
"It’s very heartwarming to see the number of people come out and support law enforcement," Force said.
The events also coincide with National Police Memorial week held annually in Washington, D.C. This year’s observance runs May 11-16.
Chandler’s Police Support Group has raised $5,500 to assist Nielsen’s family and others in attending the activities in Washington.
To raise money the group sold stuffed animals with a personalized tag in memory of Nielsen.
About 50 people are to make the trip to Washington to support Nielsen’s widow, Ann Marie Nielsen.