The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department had not lost a Deputy in the Line of Duty for more than nine years, dating back to 1995.
On the afternoon of September 1 that all changed. Deputy Ronald “Ron” Ives was on duty, in the City of Rancho Cucamonga, operating his assigned motorcycle, when a vehicle being driven by Francis James Rawls (60) of San Bernardino ran a red light at Archibald Avenue and Baseline Road, colliding with Ives’ motorcycle. Both Deputy Ives and Mr. Rawls were transported to the Arrowhead Regional Medical Center in Colton, where both succumbed to their injuries. Ives became the twelfth peace officer, and the fourth motor officer to die in the line of duty in California during 2004.
Deputy Ives, an eight-year veteran of his Department graduated from the Sheriff’s Training Academy in early 1996 and was assigned to the West Valley Detention Center. In June 1999 he was promoted to Deputy II and assigned to Patrol at Rancho Cucamonga Station.
Ron Ives was a native Californian, born in Norwalk. Prior to his entering law enforcement he had worked for a company that manufactured fire trucks and tow trucks.
Ron was a pillar in the community where he worked and lived. He was very active in his church, and overtly expressing his strong interest in the safety of young people he organized and presented an annual bicycle rodeo, instructing them in traffic and bicycle safety. He gave each youngster in attendance a free bicycle helmet.
Ron Ives was a patriot and cared deeply about the tragic loss of lives in New York City on September 11, 2001. He voluntarily participated in a 4,000 mile bike ride across the United States, ending at ground zero in New York City. The ride benefited the survivors of public safety personnel who died in the line of duty on 9/11.
In honor and memory of Deputy Ives, the flags that fly over all of the Sheriff’s facilities in San Bernardino County were being flown at half-staff. In keeping with tradition, Governor Schwarzenegger directed that flags that fly over the State Capitol also be flown at half-staff.
On the morning of September 8 more than 3,500 friends and law enforcement officers from throughout the State joined members of the Ives family at the Epicenter Sports Center in Rancho Cucamonga to pay their final respects to a fallen hero.
Ron Ives was eulogized as “an outstanding law enforcement officer. Totally committed to serving the residents of San Bernardino County and a real credit to the Department”. Ron’s younger brother, David, told those gathered “Ron was a ray of sunshine everyday. He always made time for others. He never expected any payment in return; his payment was their smiles”.
At the request of the family, interment was private.
Ron Ives is survived by his wife Karen and his 20-year-old son Blake.
Contributions supporting the family may be made to:
The Ronald Ives Memorial Fund
C/0 The Safety Employees Benefit Association
555 North “E” Street
San Bernardino, CA 92401