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Since its establishment, the Visalia Police Department has lost two officers in the line of duty; Officer James Rapozo in 1998 &  Sergeant Charles "Hugh" Garrison in 1946. 


James Rapozo

Date of Birth: June 14, 1964

Date Appointed: April 20, 1992

End of Watch: January 9, 1998

Officer James Rapozo was fatally shot during a raid on January 9, 1998. James Rapozo became the first policeman killed in Visalia in more than half a century. Rapozo was a native of nearby Hanford. He graduated from Hanford High School in 1982 and California State University Fresno in 1987. His career in law enforcement began when he was first hired with the Hanford Police Department.  He later worked for the Kings County Sheriff's Department, the California Department of Justice and the Bureau of Narcotics Enforcement. He was a member of the Basic Car Team, the SWAT Team, the Field Training Unit and the Patrol Planning Council in Visalia. On September 10, 1999, the California Legislature unanimously approved the renaming of the Visalia portion of SR 198 to "Officer James Rapozo Freeway".  California Peace Officers Memorial


Charles "Hugh" Garrison

Date of Birth: June 23, 1908

Date Appointed: June 30, 1938

End of Watch: November 6, 1946

In 1937, "Hugh" Garrison joined the Visalia Police Department and served in this capacity until he enlisted in the U.S. Navy during WWII. Upon his discharge in 1946, he returned to the department. On November 6, 1946, 38-year-old Sergeant Garrison and a 23-year-old suspect, Clyde Bauer of Woodlake, were both mortally wounded. Police had been on the alert for Bauer for about 43 hours, as he was suspected of stealing an automobile from a Main Street garage after smashing a storeroom window. While attempting to arrest the fugitive, a confrontation developed between Garrison and Bauer, both of whom were armed. Garrison was shot once at close range and the suspect, Bauer, was struck twice. Sergeant Garrison, who was survived by his wife, Geneva (now deceased), was interred in the Visalia Cemetery on November 7, 1946. In 1992, relatives donated Sergeant Garrison's badge and Smith & Wesson .357 Magnum revolver inscribed "CHG" to the Visalia Police Department museum.  California Peace Officers Memorial

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