The actions taken

A memorial scholarship fund is being set up in memory of Det. John Bohach of the Reno Police Department. Call the University of Nevada, Reno, Foundation office, 784-6622.
He was a dad, a son, a brother, a husband, a friend—and a police officer. What does that mean? In the words of Det. John Bohach, it meant putting your life on the line and receiving little in the way of thanks much of the time.

“Police work is one of the hardest aspects of public service,” Bohach once wrote. The police officer’s words were read by his brother, Mark Bohach, at a memorial service Monday. “Few are cut out for it, and few appreciate the work that is done. … But the actions taken will affect people for the rest of their lives.”

Bohach, 35, died Aug. 22, shot in the chest by a bullet from a powerful rifle. Reno detectives tried to save their partner by pulling him to safety. They risked their lives as Bohach lost his. Larry James Peck, in whose Reno home police found guns, gas masks and surveillance equipment, faces charges of first-degree murder, as well as obstructing and resisting an officer.

Friends, family members, co-workers and city officials turned out in full force for the memorial service.

“For those of you who’ve never experienced what it’s like to be part of law enforcement family, look around,” said Bohach’s partner, officer Jim Stegmaier.

The seats facing the stage, where officers sat in two rows behind a lectern, were packed. Flowers, some in the shape of a police badge or star, lined the front of the stage. Stories were told of Bohach’s character: “Sometimes abrasive, not always politically correct … the real thing, always straight with you … a million-dollar grin.”

Others told of Bohach’s work before he went back out on patrol in mid-July. During his six years as a detective in the sex crimes unit, he’d learned the art of the police interview. He could sit down with a preschooler and win enough trust to get that child to reveal the darkest of secrets. Then, he could turn around and interview the perpetrators of these crimes.

Because of Bohach, many who had hurt children were locked up, including one man who’d gotten probation in Oregon for abusing his 20-month-old daughter. The man moved to Nevada, where he began abusing his second daughter. When arrested, he thought he’d talk his way out of it. The abuser now serves the first of two consecutive life sentences in prison.

“He didn’t reckon that he’d have to deal with Detective Bohach,” said Deputy District Attorney Jim Shewan.

Others spoke of the family left behind. Bohach’s daughter celebrated her second birthday the day after her daddy died. Days earlier, Bohach had bought presents for her. The party was cancelled. But as family members mourned around the little girl on her birthday, the 2-year-old took a call on her toy phone.

“Hi, Daddy,” she said. She gabbed on in toddler dialect for a bit and concluded her conversation with a clear: “Goodbye, Daddy. I love you.”

Family members were “overcome by the feeling that John had wished her a happy birthday.”

aspects of public service. Few are cut out for it.

But Reno appreciates the work that’s been done.