IDAHO FALLS — Next week marks one year since a Bonneville County Sheriff’s deputy lost his life in the line of duty and now he is being honored at home and the nation’s Capitol.
Wyatt Maser died at the age of 23 near Bone on May 18, 2020, when being hit by another sheriff’s deputy responding to the scene of a woman wielding a machete. Senator Mike Crapo honored Maser as part of National Police Week during the message on the Senate Floor.
“Every year, the Senate unanimously passes a resolution honoring each law enforcement officer who died in the line of duty during the previous year,” Crapo said. “Their names are also added to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, D.C. Currently, this memorial contains more than 21,000 names. This year, one more Idahoan will be added to this Memorial.”
Among the 394 names being added to the memorial this year is Maser, Idaho’s only fallen officer last year. When he died, Maser left behind his wife and young daughter. Maser, a United States Air Force Veteran, had only been on the job with the Sheriff’s Office for 13 months when he was killed.
“It takes a special person to serve in our nation’s armed forces, and an even better one to continue to serve one’s community after leaving the Air Force,” Crapo said. “By all accounts, Wyatt was that person, befriending everyone he met … Deputy Maser, your memory will not be forgotten.”
The first proclamation for the Peace Officers Memorial Day and National Police Week came in 1963 by President John F. Kennedy. Since then, Peace Officer Memorial Day has been celebrated annually on May 15 to honor officers like Maser.
“This is a time for all of us to honor and pay tribute to our law enforcement heroes who gave the ultimate sacrifice while protecting our communities,” said District of Idaho Acting U.S. Attorney Gonzalez. “We will never forget their sacrifice and we will keep their families and fellow officers in our hearts and minds. My heartfelt condolences go out to the family of Bonneville County Deputy Sheriff Wyatt Christopher Maser … His death last May was a true tragedy and a reminder of the risk our law enforcement partners take daily.”
Maser was also honored recently as his name was added to the East Idaho Workers Memorial in Freemen Park. The memorial honors all workers and laborers in the area who died on the job. Additionally, Maser was among those remembered at this week’s Idaho Peace Officers’ Memorial in Meridian.
At the location of Maser’s death, a white cross reads “Wyatt Maser, Never Forgotten, EOW 5/18/2021.” An American and Thin Blue Line flags hang from the cross.
“He will never be forgotten by his loved ones and those who had the privilege to work beside him,” the Bonneville County Prosecutors Office said in a statement on Facebook this week. “As we come up to the first anniversary of his passing, we ask the community to remember and honor Deputy Maser and the sacrifice he gave while on duty.”
Tonight the local law enforcement will be honoring Maser and all Idaho peace officers who died while on the job. The event will be at 6 p.m. at the Bonneville County Courthouse on North Capital Avenue in Idaho Falls.
“This is a rough week, for the Maser family and our (BCSO) family as well,” said Bonneville County Sheriffs Office spokesman Bryan Lovell. “It hits close to home.”