NOGALES, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Following the tragic line-of-duty death of Officer Jesus Cordova on Friday, April 27, the greater Nogales community continues to show its support for the family of the slain officer.
First there were the memorials, one outside Nogales Police Department and a much larger one near Villa's Market where Cordova was shot.
Over the weekend, hundreds attended a memorial vigil for Cordova.
The Nogales High School Baseball team, defending state champs, dedicated their first playoff game to Cordova. They dedicated a portion of the field the following game, Monday night. The team also presented Cordova's family with donations collected from local businesses.
Before Cordova's widow spoke to that crowd Monday evening, loved ones waited at Martinez Funeral Chapel for her late husband's body to return from Tucson.
With an escort of more than a hundred officers, the white hearse brought Cordova back to Nogales.
A public viewing is scheduled for 6:30 - 8:30 Friday night at Nogales High School. The mass will take place the following morning.
The community support will not end with the burial. Nogales Fire Department is collecting donations all week to deliver to the Cordova family on Sunday.
Fire Marshal Marcel Hammond, a wife to a law enforcement officer, said she couldn't imagine raising their children without her partner for the rest of her life.
"Mrs. Cordova will have needs for a lifetime, not just a month or two," she said.
Family friend Dora Urias has organized a diaper drive for the entire month of May. She met the Cordovas a couple years ago when they volunteered for the youth football program.
She said both parents were extremely kind and always willing to help. Now that one is gone, Urias said she knew she had to do something.
"It's a tremendous help for her and her kids," she said. "We don't want her to be worrying 'where am I going to get diapers?'."
Johanna Sarapa d ropped off several bags of diapers from the organization American Legion Riders Nogales. Sarapa said she could relate to the challenges ahead for the Cordova family, because she felt alone when the father to her children died years ago.
"The only thing that gave me strength was my kids," she said. "The only advice I can give to people is to just keep supporting her, because she's going to need it."
Other groups are organizing efforts to support the Cordova family. The Law Enforcement Wives of Southern Arizona will be collecting diapers, paper products and other family essentials, according to Hammand. She said the Border Patrol Wives have started a meal train in Sahuarita and Rio Rico, plus the wife of the Nogales Chief of Police has been accepting donations at the police department for the Cordova family .
Urias said she would consider establishing a diaper drive d rop-off near Tucson if she learns that there's enough interest. Until then, the following locations are available in Santa Cruz County:
- United Way of Santa Cruz County
- All Nogales Fire Department stations
- Nogales Suburban Fire station
- Rio Rico Fire Department stations
- Thomas Produce