Every year at 11:15 a.m. on Feb. 8, law enforcement radio channels across Mesa County observe a moment of silence in honor of a fallen officer.
“All units, Code 1 Air is called in honor of Deputy Derek Geer, 2373, who was fatally shot on Feb. 8, 2016, while answering a call to duty,” an annual message from the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office said. “Deputy Geer gave his life while serving his community with courage and valor… All units, break for a moment of silence.”
The number refers to Geer’s badge number.
On that February day, Geer was responding to a call about a man carrying a gun near Pear Park when he was shot and killed by a 17-year-old trying to evade arrest. His killer pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and was sentenced to 70 years in prison in 2018.
On Monday, after a 30-second pause, the Sheriff’s Office thanked Geer for his sacrifice.
“Deputy Derek Geer, may you rest in peace and know that your honor will continue within all of us. Thank you for your service and sacrifice. Code 1 Air is lifted. Dispatch clear,” the message concluded.
Now five years since he was killed by an armed suspect, Geer is still remembered as a compassionate guy who never took himself too seriously.
In a memorial message in Sunday’s Daily Sentinel, the Geer Family said they will never forget Derek’s sacrifice and commitment to family and community.
“Five years ago, you were killed in the line of duty while serving and protecting your community,” they wrote. “We know that you would be humbled by the many awards, honors and accolades that you have received in the interim, as well as the kindness that has been shown to your family members.
“Your family, friends and coworkers miss your playful teasing, laughter and kindness to others as well as your entertaining stories,” the family said in the memorial.
A United States Navy veteran, Geer spent his entire 15-year career in law enforcement at the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office. He was married to his wife Kate for 17 years and the two had a daughter and son together.
He received the Medal of Honor posthumously, the first person to receive the honor in the history of the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office.
When he requested Geer’s name be added to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial, Mesa County Sheriff Matthew Lewis called Geer a true servant of good.
“He exemplified the traits one would expect in a public servant. He was caring, compassionate, trustworthy and always service-oriented,” he wrote.
Geer’s name was added in 2017 during the annual candlelight vigil during National Police Week.
The Sheriff’s Office keeps Geer’s photo in the lobby, and its training facility in town is dedicated to him.
“On 2/8/16, Deputy Derek Geer was killed in the line of duty after responding to a report of a man with a gun. On this day, we remember and honor his sacrifice and service to our community,” the Sheriff’s Office posted Monday on social media.