ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – What happened to a memorial for a late Albuquerque police officer? The memorial for Ofc. Daniel Webster was targeted by vandals in the past, but now, the entire structure is gone.
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Early last year, someone tore off the plaque from the small memorial outside of Walgreens on Eubank and Central. Now, the granite base that held the plaque is also gone.
“This is not funny, it’s not a joke. This is a police officer that paid the ultimate sacrifice for this community and this police department,” said Shaun Willoughby, president of the Albuquerque Police Officers’ Association. “He was murdered in the line of duty. He was a father, he was a husband.”
Ofc. Webster was killed during a traffic stop outside Walgreens in October 2015. Not long after his murder, the small memorial was put in place near the busy intersection. But now, the entire installation is gone.
The Albuquerque Police Officers’ Association says they offered to replace the memorial last year when the plaque was stolen but was told the city was already working on it. Earlier Friday, they told KRQE News 13 they’re taking matters into their hands.
“The Law Enforcement Officers Foundation is definitely going to correct this,” said Willoughby. “We’re going to pay to ensure that this memorial gets replaced and it gets done correctly and we’re going to be working on it as soon as possible.”
The Albuquerque Police Department got back to News 13 late Friday afternoon and says the base was removed by city staff and wasn’t stolen, and plans to remake the memorial, but it was delayed by COVID-19. They say the site outside Walgreens is already in the process of being remade and will have a stone with etching on top.
Memorials dedicated to the late officer have a recent history of vandals. In addition to the stolen plaque, a little library created in his honor at Daniel Webster Memorial Park was also damaged.
APD says a second memorial is also in the works. The stolen plaque is in the process of being remade and will now be placed at Daniel Webster Memorial Park near Copper and Wyoming. The APOA hopes this next memorial will get some extra security safeguards like a pole camera to capture any vandals.