Posted 8:19 AM 9/20/2012 : Department copes with Cochise Sheriff's death
BISBEE, Ariz. - The Chief Deputy of the Cochise Sheriff's Department has been appointed head of the department after Sheriff Larry Dever was killed in a rollover accident in Northern Arizona.
Chief Deputy Rodney Rothrock received a phone call late last night notifying him that Dever was killed in a one-vehicle accident, putting him in charge for now.
Inside the Cochise Sheriff's Headquarters in Bisbee, Ariz., his portrait hangs with a single black sash draped over it -- a sign of respect for a man who served with Cochise law enforcement for more than three decades.
"It's a grievous loss. Most of the people that work for this organization have never worked for any Sheriff other than Larry Dever," Rothrock said.
With the department rocked by this loss, the county board of supervisors will be tasked with naming Dever's replacement, who must be a Republican like Dever was. They are confident the department will be able operate adequately even during these difficult times.
Ann English of the Cochise Board of Supervisors had a close personal friendship with Dever and is deeply saddened by his sudden death. She is certain the Sherrif's department will continue to serve his legacy proudly.
"I know he has a very competent team in place and he would feel comfortable knowing that things would go on in his absence," English said.
The Cochise Board of Supervisors has not yet set a timeline for naming Dever's replacement but insist they will work as quickly as possible. For now, they are reviewing the proper protocol within state law.
Posted 8:50 PM 9/19/2012 : Family and friends mourn the loss of Sheriff Larry Dever
BISBEE-Cochise County residents and people throughout the state are mourning the death of Sheriff Larry Dever.
His close friends and family are still in shock.
Larry Dempster is a long time friend. He's a rancher and businessman, he says Sheriff Dever was passionate about his family and his community. "A good family man who believed in family tradition. He loved his kids and his wife"
Sheriff Dever was also very committed to serving the people of Cochise County. Evidence of that in 1982 during the Miracle Valley shootout. Dever, was in charge of the SWAT team that raided the compound. He was shot in the face. Dempster recounts the incident , "A shotgun blast went through the window Larry thought it was glass that had bounced off." Dever's partner was seriously injured and when they got to the hospital Dever asked, "Can you get this glass out of my face ?" The medical personnel responded "That's not glass, you got shot, those are shotgun pellets in your cheek" Those pellets were never removed.
During the interview people were stopping by to give their condolences to Dempster because they knew how close the men were. Wiping tears from his eyes, Dempster says, "You never know what's going to happen". "I'm going to miss Larry and the entire ranching community is going to miss him as well."
Virgil Judd, is a relative of Sheriff Dever's. He says the last time he saw him was a church. Judd, says "Larry Dever was a man of integrity who always wanted to do the right thing" Judd, says his father, former Cochise County Sheriff Jimmy Judd, thought a great deal of Larry Dever and had the utmost respect for him.
Evidence by the condolences the Cochise County Sheriff's Department is receiving from around the country.
Judd says the Sheriff's mother passed away last Tuesday, and the funeral was scheduled for this weekend, he says it's been a difficult time for Larry's father. First his wife, and now his son, all within a weeks time.
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