Police Department and the city as a whole has lost one of its best
officers and one of its best citizens by the preponderance of
emotional outburst during Monday’s funeral services and the following
procession to the final destination for Search and Rescue Officer
David Van Buskirk.
Emotions, displays of deep sentiments, tears in almost everyone’s
eyes, and a certain disbelief of the moment they all were living
through, showed on everyone’s face.
There is no doubt that Officer David Van Buskirk, someone who was not
in the spotlight and was not looking for personal recognition, touched
many, many lives.
Officer David Van Buskirk was always quick to help out not only a
friend, but also those he didn’t know, knowing only that they needed
help badly when they called upon the local police for that help.
That is exactly what took place on the night of July 22, when Van
Buskirk set out to save the life of a complete stranger, a person in
distress for having ignored the rules posted on Mount Charleston —
rules intended to save lives, and the disregard of those same rules
that could cost the life of a good man — and it did. It cost the life
of a good officer and a good all-around human being.
Those who were fortunate enough to know Officer David Van Buskirk
could not expect any less of him than what he did, and always with his
good sense of humor, helping people with a smile on his face.
Once again a good deed is returned, from the generosity of the
heart-broken residents of Las Vegas who — in a twelve-hour stretch of
time — raised more than $10,000 to help with the funeral expenses for
the man who lived his whole life to help others. That, even despite
the fact that the cost of the funeral services were donated by Palm
Mortuary, the oldest funeral home in Southern Nevada.
Palm Mortuary has been burying police officers for years at no cost to
the family and any efforts to generate money is for the survivors of
the lost beloved one only.
The Injured Police Officer Fund usually gives $20,000 to the surviving
family members if they have the money in their bank.
There is no word as yet if any charges will be filed against the
trespasser after the investigation into the accident is finalized.
Officer David Van Buskirk leaves behind a wife, his parents and a
sister who spoke very emotionally at the funeral services, as did his
sergeant, Gavin Vesp, who was almost in tears as he described the pain
of being the last person seeing David Van Buskirk alive, and how he
closed this officer’s eyes for the last time. Sergeant Vesp assured
everyone that David Van Buskirk went without pain.
“My heart is forever broken… My brother was one of my very best
friends… He was a loving husband, loyal friend, wonderful uncle and
my protector,” Jennifer Van Buskirk told the audience filled with
friends, co-workers and family members at her brother’s funeral.
Other police jurisdictions, including some from North Las Vegas,
Henderson, Boulder City, the Nevada Highway Patrol, the Washoe County
Sheriff’s Department and the Bureau of Land Management, walked by the
casket, each giving Van Buskirk a final salute.
The most chilling words of the afternoon were when the officer’s final
radio traffic played “Attention all officers. Attention all officers.
Officer David Van Buskirk. Pin-Number 6482. May he rest in peace.