The Flagstaff Police Department is planning a procession and public funeral Wednesday for Officer Daniel Beckwith, who died from suicide early last week.

The procession is expected to start at Norvel Owens Mortuary and stop at the Flagstaff Church of the Nazarene. Officers will block traffic at major intersections along the route, according to an online post from the department. The procession is expected to begin at 11:15 a.m. when they depart the mortuary on Route 66 and follow the road until they turn right on the North Fourth Street bridge, eventually turning left on Soliere Avenue and traveling until they reach the church.

The public funeral will be recorded and streamed live on the Flagstaff Police Department's Facebook page, beginning at noon.

Beckwith was found at his home alone in Mesa, where he was on paid leave from the department, police reported. The Mesa Police Department found Beckwith on March 12.

In early 2018, Beckwith fired his weapon and killed John Hamilton, 78, in La Plaza Vieja after Hamilton pointed his gun at officers, Hernandez said. Beckwith was placed on leave in response to the shooting and then soon returned to work. The Coconino County Attorney's Office declined to press charges against the officers.

Several months after his first paid leave, Hernandez explained that Beckwith was placed on paid leave again on June 15, 2018. Beckwith had not specified an amount of time that he was set to be gone. Hernandez could not explain why he was placed on paid leave again.

“Currently, I am only able to disclose that he was on paid leave,” Hernandez wrote.

Hernandez said that he had worked with Beckwith as a co-worker and supervisor.

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“Officer Beckwith served the community to the best of his ability and ensured he performed his duties with professionalism and compassion. He was a member of the Edward Squad during my time working with him and was well liked among his peers,” Hernandez wrote.

Hernandez described him as a hard worker, willing to cover shifts and stay late when major incidents required him to.

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“His working knowledge of the community and how to best perform his duties in keeping with the mission of the Flagstaff Police Department is something that Officer Beckwith took pride in," Hernandez wrote. "As a member of the 'E-Squad,' Officer Beckwith was our brother who could be counted upon without question, and someone who gave everything he had as a police officer, without question.”

The Critical Incident Stress Management Team is deploying their services within the department to help with the grieving process.

“The Flagstaff Police Department is working to provide continuous support to our staff members related to counseling and crisis intervention services,” Hernandez wrote.

The department only expects the procession blockages to occur while they are on the road, and regular traffic flow will continue shortly afterward.

The department will block Route 66 where it intersects with North Switzer Canyon Drive, Ponderosa Parkway, East Arrowhead Avenue, North First Street and North Fourth Street. After turning on North Fourth Street, they will be blocking traffic at the intersection of North Fourth Street, East Huntington Drive and East Industrial Drive. The last blocked intersection will be North Fourth and East Soliere Avenue.

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Scott Buffon can be reached at sbuffon@azdailysun.com, on Twitter @scottbuffon or by phone at (928) 556-2250.


Senior Reporter - Cops, Environment

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