On the afternoon of November 12, Deputy Lawrence W. Canfield (43) was conducting traffic enforcement near Coloma Road and Sierra Madre Court in Rancho Cordova. Canfield, a 13 year veteran, had been assigned to the Rancho Cordova Police Department’s motorcycle unit for the past four years.
Canfield was travelling eastbound on Coloma when he spotted a speeding motorist by LIDAR. As he was in pursuit of the speeder with lights/sirens, a car travelling westbound turned left directly into Canfield’s path. Deputy Canfield was thrown from his motor and likely died instantly.
The 79-year-old man driving the car that hit Deputy Canfield was detained and released as there was no “significant criminality” on his part. The driver had immediately stopped to provide aid along with other witnesses.
Deputy Canfield was transported to Mercy San Juan Hospital in Carmichael where he was pronounced deceased. He is survived by his wife Michelle and their two sons Tylor (12 years) and Bryce (10 years). Canfield is also survived by his father, Bob Canfield, and siblings Shane, Mark, and Tia. Canfield served in the U.S. Army and was a second-generation law enforcement officer…his father is a retired Sergeant from Sacramento County Sheriff’s Dept.
First Baptist Church of Elk Grove was filled to capacity on the morning of November 20 as more than 2,000 people came to pay their respects to Larry Canfield.
The service held all the formality and honor of a peace officer’s funeral, but it was also filled with laughter as friends spoke of Canfield’s love for his family, dedication to his job, wicked sense of humor, and trademark unlit cigar.
Canfield’s childhood friends said his history with law enforcement started long before Canfield was sworn in as a deputy. In their teens, the friends were chased by police for their mischief. Jimmy Stemler, a Clovis firefighter, joked that he felt comfortable sharing the potentially incriminating stories with an audience of cops because Sheriff John McGinness had assured him the statute of limitations had surely expired.
Sheriff McGinness told mourners that Canfield ultimately lost his life doing what he loved to do and asked those grieving to take comfort in knowing that Canfield pursued and achieved his dreams. “He was a good and honorable man” who had shown fidelity to his family, his country, his department, chosen profession and the community he served.
Deputy Scott Padgett, Canfield’s patrol partner and “wingman” said, “I lost a piece of me along with my dear friend that day, that day I will hate forever.”
The last to address the congregation was Michelle Canfield, who spoke with humor and composure. “There wasn’t anything he wouldn’t do for his family or his friends,” she said, adding that her husband had left her with two wonderful sons who will always remind her of him. She expressed gratitude for the support their family has received. “There are no words to describe the cold feeling and the terror when you hear the news,” Michelle said “but I know we are so loved.”
The three-hour service ended with the static of a radio dispatcher’s attempts to raise “5Mary5,” Canfield’s call sign. First met with silence then Padgett – “5Mary10” – radioed the dispatcher to say his partner was “End of Watch.”
A procession six miles long accompanied Canfield’s body to Galt Arno Cemetery, where he will be interred with his mother. At the cemetery, a 21-gun salute, bagpipes, a bugler’s taps, and a riderless horse paid homage to Canfield. Seven helicopters flew over, one veering to the west in “missing man” formation.
A memorial fund has been established for the Canfield family:
Sacramento County Deputy Sheriffs’ Association
Larry Canfield Memorial Fund
c/o Exchange Bank 1420 Rocky Ridge Drive, Suite 190
Roseville, CA 95661
Acct # 1205001934
Routing Number: 121101985