NOGALES, Ariz. (KGUN) — An emotional mass was held for fallen Officer Jeremy Brinton.
He died after being hit by a car while directing traffic on I-19 on May 20, 2021.
Hundreds of people gathered to honor and remember the late officer in Nogales, where he served in the police department for 20 years.
He served as a dispatcher for the first two years and as an in-field officer for the next 18 years.
“Dedicated. Hardworking. Family man,” said Chief Deputy Mario Morales, with the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office.
The aforementioned are qualities Chief Deputy Morales uses to describe his late colleague and friend—Officer Brinton.
“A lot of sadness. After 10 years of working together it’s...you just get used to seeing each other every day,” he added.
Morales isn’t the only law enforcement officer who can’t believe he’s gone—
“We’re going to miss him. To this day I still look for him. I turn the corner and I’m waiting there for Jeremy to be there and he’s not there,” said Officer Victor Hetherington with the Nogales Police Department.
“He was the real deal. He was a little brash. Kind of a wise guy. And if there was something that came across that boy’s mind, there wasn’t much to stop it from coming out of his mouth,” added Officer Tom Vadar with U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
“He donated various of his organs to people in need. So his heart will continue to beat and live while providing hope where there wasn’t before,” said Nogales Police Chief Roy Bermudez.
Law enforcement officers, friends, and family attended the mass— among them, officer brinton’s wife and four children.
“She’s obviously with the service, as you guys saw...very emotional. And I think it’s a hard time for us right now, especially for my nieces,” said Victor Valenzuela.
Valenzuela is the brother-in-law- of Officer Brinton. He says their family’s hearts are broken.
“I can’t find the words to describe how much he means to everybody,” he told KGUN9.
Pima County Sheriff Chris Nanos also attended the mass and ceremony that followed.
“This is a good profession. Some great young men and women and they give a lot...sometimes they give all. It’s just hard,” he said, while wiping away his tears.
It was a day full of emotion, respect, and above all support for late Officer Brinton and his family.
“He was certainly one of a kind. Very unique,” said Valenzuela.
“Sometimes you never know the value of the moment until it becomes a memory,” added Officer Hetherington.
“I will miss him. I pray that he rest in peace,” said Officer Vader.
“Jeremy, rest easy my brother. We have the watch from here….may God bless you,” said Nogales Police Chief Bermudez.