Two years ago this month our community suffered a tragedy that had never happened before. Rob Targosz was killed by a drunk driver. He was the first Gilbert Police Officer killed in the line of duty.
I will never forget the day I found out. I was in
I had gotten to know Rob when he took a graduate class from me through NAU. It was the first class that I taught and I had mostly police officers and a couple of teachers. What an experience that was!!!! Rob, Ric, and Steve were the Gilbert Policemen in the class. There were officers from
I remember the day that the Town of
In addition, our sixth graders started a
A few weeks ago, I read an article in the
I was asked to write a guest editorial for the local newspaper last April. I am including it here.
Five years ago this summer, I had the honor of getting to know Officer Rob Targosz because he was a student in a leadership class that I was teaching for
I never thought much about their daily lives before that class. That summer, a police officer from
I also learned what an honorable human being Rob Targosz was. I remember him talking about “doing the right thing” and not asking for credit for doing it. I remember his caring and passion for his profession and the difference that he knew he made each day.
Rob kept in touch with me after the class. He came to Gilbert Elementary and worked with our students on science projects. He shared how much he loved science because of his dad. I believe it is so good for our children to view police officers in different roles.
It is great to know that our town is in the process of raising funds for the Gilbert Public Safety Memorial to honor our police and firefighters. I believe that the memorial is very important, as our police officers and firefighters who make sure that all citizens are safe each and every day of the year. Their jobs have the potential of being extremely dangerous. Our society looks up to athletes, musicians, and actors who make millions of dollars. I believe that the people who go to work day in and day out in for the betterment of our society (including educators) should be our heroes. We need to recognize and honor these wonderful professions.
The children in the
Every day heroes, like Rob Targosz, are what make Gilbert such an incredible community in which to live. I am proud to say I am a resident of
Rob Targosz was truly an incredible human being!!! Our world is a better place because of him. What a legacy he has left to our community!!