As you remember these fallen officers, take comfort in recalling that they dedicated their lives to the same principles of honor, duty and courage that brought you to the badge. Such a life is truly rich. Take strength in knowing that when an officer falls, our resolve to serve those in need is not diminished. Our dedication to protecting those in danger is not weakened. Our commitment to remembering those with whom we shared the badge does not fade.
Godspeed, brothers and sisters. You fought the good fight. Now rest in peace…
SAN DIEGO — An on-duty correctional officer and his police K-9 were killed Monday when their vehicle overturned in a rural area of San Diego.
Gilbert Cortez, 46, and K-9 Mattie were en route to a drug inspection along with several other correctional officers in separate vehicles, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Cortez's vehicle was in front when it drifted to the right, then rolled and struck a rock embankment. Other officers attempted CPR, but Cortez died before he could be airlifted, according to the Associated Press. The accident is being investigated by highway patrol.
“His untimely passing, in the line of duty, is a huge loss to all who worked with him," Corrections Secretary Jeff Beard said in a statement.
Cortez had been with the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation Center in Norco since 2001, where he completed his K-9 training. Before that he was with the California Institution for Men in Chino starting in 1990.
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The TASER Foundation’s mission is to honor the service and sacrifice of local and federal law enforcement officers lost in the line of duty by providing financial and edcuational support to their families.