Sheriff Deputy Ed Callahan remembered |

Sheriff Deputy Ed Callahan remembered

Michael Schneider

Friends, family and a plethora of law enforcement personnel gathered at Zephyr Cove Tuesday morning to remember the first Douglas County Sheriff’s Officer to die in the line of duty.

Deputy Ed Callahan drowned May 24 in a boating accident at the cove. His funeral was held last week in Hemet, Calif., but friends and co-workers who knew Callahan later in his life came to where he worked during his final years to pay respects.

Callahan, 54, joined the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office May 22, 1995 after retiring from his longtime post at the United States Customs Service. He was beginning his third summer patrolling the waters of Lake Tahoe this year.

Callahan began work at the Customs Service in 1971 after completing three tours of duty as a Marine in Vietnam. He climbed through the ranks there, holding several positions before retiring in 1995 as a regional director.

Callahan’s former boss, Wayne Yamashita, assistant special agent in charge of investigations, said Callahan played a key part in several important narcotics busts during his tenure with the Customs Service.

Callahan’s last boss, Douglas Sheriff Ron Pierini, also spoke highly of his fallen comrade.

“He devoted his life to serving others,” Pierini said. “He loved life and he loved law enforcement.

“He died next to his boat after completing another tour of duty serving others.”

Pierini said Marine Seven, Callahan’s patrol boat, will have his name permanently inscribed on it.

Callahan’s partner, Reserve Deputy Wes Rice, who also fell into the lake when Callahan drowned in the boating accident, told the crowd of hundreds Callahan had a unique quality that many seek, but few attain.

Rice said Callahan had become a part of the Zephyr Cove family, living in the campground during the summers.

“He was not ‘Deputy Callahan’ or ‘Officer Callahan,’ he was just ‘Ed,'” Rice said.

Members of many law enforcement entities and military organizations from around California and Nevada attended the ceremony in formal dress.

At the end of the memorial, Lt. Kathy Tadich held up her radio to the podium microphone and a voice boomed: “All units – Deputy Ed Callahan is 1042.”

According to the sheriff’s office, 1042 means the end of a tour.

At that point, the various patrol boats at the cove fanned out as officers from the Marine Corps honored Callahan with a 21-gun salute.

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