ST. GEORGE — A St. George Police officer who died of COVID-19 has received a permanent honor in Washington D.C.
Adam Ashworth, an 11-year veteran of the department who died on July 22, 2021, had his name added to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington D.C. in a ceremony on May 13.
Ashworth is the first St. George officer and also the first from Washington County to have a place on the wall, which honors more than 23,000 law enforcement officers nationwide who have died in the line of duty since 1786.
The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, which oversees the memorial, and other law enforcement consider officers who died of COVID-19 as dying in the line of duty. That makes Ashworth the only St. George Police officer to have died on duty at the end of his watch.
Ashworth’s family as well as some of his co-workers with the St. George Police Department were able to be on hand for the ceremony after funds were raised through Friends of First Responders St. George.
“This was made possible, in part, by the tremendous support of our community and members of our first responder family,” St. George Police said in a statement. “We are thankful to live and work in such an amazing community.”
Bobbi Ashworth, Adam’s wife, told St. George News it was a sacred experience.
“Being at the wall and seeing Adam’s name there was super emotional for all of us. We were moved by the thought that his name was amongst heroes from all over that have given their lives in service to their cities,” she said. “We were overwhelmed with feelings of respect, love and pride. We are beyond honored to know that his name will live there forever.“
There is a local monument to Ashworth as well — a memorial bench in Town Square Park.
The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington D.C., on the grounds of the National Law Enforcement Museum, sits two blocks from Pennsylvania Avenue about 3,000 yards from the steps of the U.S. Capitol.
Along with being the first from Washington County whose name is on the wall, Ashworth is the sixth officer overall from Southwestern Utah to be among the more than 23,000 names on the wall. The others are:
- Ray Pierson, Utah Highway Patrol, gunned down on Nov. 7, 1978, during a traffic stop on state Route 20 near Panguitch.
- Dale Nelson, Beaver County Sherrif, died of asphyxiation of methane fumes while rescuing a father and son on a dairy farm on Sept. 8, 1980.
- Brian Harris, Kane County Sherrif, killed by a high-powered rifle after pursuing a burglary suspect into the desert in Fredonia, Arizona, on Aug. 26, 2010
- David Jones, Garfield County Sherrif, killed on Jan. 26, 2003, during traffic stop in Panguitch.
- Edward Dare, Iron County Sherrif, died in a patrol vehicle crash on Sept. 24, 2002, near Cedar City Airport.
There is also one Beaver County officer who died in the line of duty whose name is not on the memorial. Daniel Mahoney, an officer with the Frisco Police Department in what is now a ghost town in Beaver County, was shot and killed on Aug. 5, 1883, by an intoxicated man he was trying to arrest for firing his gun in the air.
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