Darrin Reed

I don’t need any award. I’m just doing my job.

Darrin Reed
Darrin Reed

That’s what Darrin Reed, a 1996 graduate of Northland Pioneer College’s Police Academy, told his wife Cathy about a year ago when she suggested nominating him for the Outstanding Graduate honor. His humble response was no surprise to Cathy, or to those who have worked with or met the Show Low Police Officer.

Today, we honor the legacy of Officer Reed, who was killed in the line of duty while responding to a disturbance call on November 8, 2016, just three months before his planned retirement after 20 years of dedicated public service.

Being in law enforcement was Darrin’s “dream job,” attainable only because of the NPC Police Academy. Fulfilling the dream didn’t come without sacrifices. While attending the academy, Darrin worked nights as a security guard at the Snowflake paper mill. He also purchased his own equipment and paid his own tuition. Today, many agencies provide the equipment and tuition for NPC’s Northeastern Arizona Law Enforcement Training Academy (NALETA) cadets.

After graduating in June 1996, he joined the Navajo County Sheriff’s Office, serving over the next 10 years as a deputy and patrol sergeant. In 2006, he joined the Show Low Police Department.

During his career, he served as a patrol officer, patrol sergeant, criminal investigator, child crimes investigator, driving instructor, field training officer, background investigator and general instructor. He also served on the Major Crimes and Apprehension Team. His in-depth investigations and proper documentation ensured criminals did not walk away from the consequences of their crimes.

Treating people with respect and honesty was a hallmark of Darrin’s professionalism. “He actually had people thank him for putting them in jail, because it caused them to turn their lives around,” recounts Cathy, who enjoyed 26 years with Darrin. The two had met in a Show Low bowling league six years before Darrin enrolled in the NPC Academy.

Spending time with his family was a very important part of Darrin’s life. Whether it was a little thing like wagging his tail lights as he left for work, or including his son Chance in a ride-along, he always made sure his family knew how much they were loved. “Knowing that the last words we said to each other were ‘I love you’ brings some sense of peace to me,” adds Cathy. “Darrin lived by those words, making sure every day that we knew how much he loved us.”

Chance had the opportunity to do almost 150 ride-alongs with his dad during his five years as a Police Cadet and Explorer. “He believed people should take full responsibility for their actions. Several times suspects would request Darrin, because of the respect he gave them in previous encounters,” Chance said. “He hated the crime but respected the person. He would always encourage them to take care of themselves.”

Chance continues, “He was a walking dictionary. Other officers would come to him with questions about statutes, or people. He seemed to know everyone in the area.”

Following in his father’s footsteps is a possibility for Chance, who has already received level one welding credentials and a welding Certificate of Applied Science through NPC and is currently in NPC’s Industrial Maintenance & Operations (IMO) program. “Both would be good ‘fallback’ careers since police officers don’t get paid that well,” he says.

Over the years, Darrin’s impact on our communities was recognized with numerous letters of commendation and awards. But none was greater than the support shown as officers escorted his body back from Tucson and during his funeral procession. “It has been truly heartwarming to see so many people show their respect to Darrin in so many ways, from lining the streets from Tucson all the way home, to candlelight vigils, fundraisers and well wishes,” remarks Cathy. “Seeing Darrin being honored for the selfless man that he was allowed me to see, even through this tragedy, the compassion and love from all of you,” notes Cathy.

“Always hold Darrin’s values of fairness, honesty and integrity in high regard and never forget the legacy that he left behind, for all we are given is time — our legacy is what we do with it,” concludes Cathy.

To honor Darrin’s legacy, the family has joined with local emergency and veteran service agencies in creating the First Responder’s Legacy Scholarship Fund. The group plans to create endowed scholarships in the memory of fallen first responders, to be awarded to a student from a Show Low School District area school – including Sequoia. For more information, email.

We join Darrin’s brothers in blue, who are with us today, in remembering a dedicated public servant and NPC alumnus – Darrin Reed.

All give some, Darrin gave his all.

In recognition of being selected as the Outstanding Alumnus for Spring 2017, the Reed family will receive mementos from the college and a three-credit tuition gift certificate.