Courtesy photo
Deputy Johnny Bateman of the Mineral County Sheriff’s Office carries the baton in memory of Nevada’s fallen law enforcement officers down Fifth Street on Monday afternoon.

Members of the Mineral County Sheriff’s Office participated in the annual Las Vegas to Carson City run to honor their fellow fallen law enforcement officers.

This is the 20th year of the430-mile run which recognizes each Nevada law enforcement officer killed in the line of duty.

As the runner entered the Hawthorne township boundaries, members of the team were on hand to run and encourage to the final leg of the run for the day which ended at the town’s only stoplight (and continued there the next morning).

Mineral County is not without its loss of a law enforcement officer. On July 25, 1994, Sgt. Richard Lewis Willson, a veteran of three years and two months, at the age of 45 suffered a fatal heart attack following a foot chase which resulted in Willson being assaulted.

The suspect had run from Willson and was upon capture, struck the officer with a crowbar to his chest. Willson returned to the Mineral County Sheriff’s Office where he began to feel sick while filling out arrest paperwork.

Willson was taken to Mt. Grant General Hospital where they determined that the deputy should be transferred out of town. At approximately 2:30 a.m. on July 25 en route to his destination, he would suffer a fatal heart attack.

Wilson was promoted to the position of sergeant in July of 1993. He had been very active in the sheriff’s office where he had been assigned to patrol sergeant; director of the marine search and rescue; assistant reserve coordinator; a field training officer and treasurer of the Mineral County Deputy Sheriffs Association.

He was active with the youth of the county coaching Little League baseball, Pop Warner football, soccer; basketball and a scoutmaster for Boy Scouts of America.

At the time of his death, he was survived by his wife, Marjorie; sons: John and Brian and granddaughter, Caitlin, all of whom resided in Mineral County at the time of his death.

The Officer Down Memorial Page reports that there have been 121 in the line of duty deaths in Nevada as well as one K9 officer.