Why are flags at half-staff today, March 22, 2019
Gov. Doug Ducey has ordered that flags at all state buildings be lowered to half-staff from sunrise to sunset on Friday, March 22, 2019, to honor the life of Phoenix Police Department Officer Paul Rutherford, who died in the line of duty Thursday after being struck by a vehicle.
Flags will also be lowered on the day of Rutherford's funeral, which has not been set.
Individuals, businesses and other organizations are encouraged to join in this tribute.
“Arizona’s deepest sympathies go out to the family and loved ones of Phoenix Police Officer Paul Rutherford,” Ducey said. “This tragic incident provides yet another example of the dangers faced by law enforcement every day to keep us and our communities safe. Our prayers are with the Phoenix Police Department family and the entire law enforcement community as Arizona mourns this loss.”
Rutherford, 51, had been a policeman for nearly 23 years. He was married and had two adult children.
He was struck while on the roadway and died after being transported to a hospital in extremely critical condition, said Sgt. Tommy Thompson, a police spokesman.
He said the driver of the vehicle that struck Rutherford remained at the scene and police were investigating.