Locals join escort for children of fallen officers

Local, state and federal law enforcement escort a caravan of 27 children affected by a line-of-duty death in their family. Photo by Miguel Hinostroza

Twenty-seven children, each of whom had lost a law enforcement parent in the line of duty, were escorted by Moab City Police, the Grand County Sheriff’s Office, Utah Highway Patrol and numerous other law enforcement agencies on Saturday, July 6 as they made their way to Bluff for a river trip.

Concerns of Police Survivors, an advocacy group for survivors, families and co-workers affected by line-of-duty deaths, joined with Outward Bound, an outdoor education group, to take the kids on a whitewater trip on the San Juan River.

Local motorcycle enthusiast and volunteer with the Grand County Sheriff’s Office Samantha Bonsack organized the local segment of the police escort.

Officers with the Utah Highway Patrol and the Grand County Sheriff’s Office escorted the kids from the Colorado-Utah state line, after the caravan left Grand Junction. The Moab Valley Fire Department, Grand County EMS, BLM Wildland Fire and Moab City Police Department escorted the kids through Moab around 10 a.m.

The San Juan County Sheriff’s Office escorted the children during the last leg of the trip, to Bluff.

“Today’s escort of the shuttle carrying children who lost parents while in the line of duty as law enforcement officers was deeply touching,” the Grand County Sheriff’s Office said in a Facebook post.

“We can’t even fathom the loss these youngsters have experienced and we pray that our community will never suffer the same loss,” Moab City Police said in a separate post.