Family of Fairfield police sergeant, killed 30 years ago, to receive medal

By From page A4 | July 30, 2014

FAIRFIELD — A Purple Heart medal will be presented Oct. 11 to the family of Fairfield Police Sgt. Art Koch, who was shot July 28, 1984, when he responded to a report of shots fired along Berkeley Way.

When Koch exited his vehicle and began walking toward the house, he was struck by a bullet fired from the suspect’s rifle. Other responding officers tried to reach him, but were kept at bay by continued gunfire from the suspect.

Twenty minutes later, with the help of the Fairfield Fire Department, Koch was rescued and taken to a nearby hospital. He died from his injuries at 2:48 a.m the next day – 30 years ago Tuesday.

His slaying was the first and only line-of-duty death suffered by the Fairfield Police Department in its more than 100 year history, the department noted in a press release.

Koch was working his last day as a patrol officer and scheduled to go on vacation with his family and return the next week as a newly appointed sergeant.

Since his death, the Fairfield Police Department has adopted the Purple Heart medal. The medal was not available 30 years ago, but will now be presented to his family, in Sgt. Koch’s honor, during the opening ceremonies of the fourth annual Fallen Officers Shooting Competition, the department said.

Koch began his career with department on Jan. 12, 1979, and during his five-year tenure became a field training officer and was a member of the Special Activities and Felony Enforcement team. Before his service with Fairfield, Koch was a member of the California Highway Patrol from 1972-79.

He was a well-loved and respected member of the department and the community as a whole, police said Monday in announcing plans for the Purple Heart medal presentation. He is survived by his wife and three children.

Reach Ryan McCarthy at 427-6935 or [email protected]

Ryan McCarthy


Discussion | 2 comments

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  • Catherine MoyJuly 29, 2014 - 9:40 am

    It is heartbreaking that we, as a city, have to give a Purple Heart to any officer. Obviously, Sgt. Art Koch should be honored with highest honors. We on the City Council recently voted to make Fairfield a Purple Heart city. We cannot do enough for our men and women in uniform. God bless Art Koch and his family and friends.

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  • Truth B ToldJuly 29, 2014 - 3:33 pm

    I agree with you however I have to tell you about this one hero that did not even receive a department funeral and he worked locally in this community. Office Tom “T.K.” Kamb Solano College Police Department fell ill one evening while on duty after working a mass amount of overtime because the college was so short staffed that they only had two full time Officers, one being Tom, one Chief and a Sargent. As the two full timers worked back to back shifts, endless hours back to back days with little to no rest the Chief and Sargent at the time kept their plush regular hours. Tom was found unresponsive on duty back at local hotel room that he rented so he didn’t have to commute during back to back shifts. He stayed in a coma approximately one week before he passed away never regaining consciousness. The joke of a chief and the governing board of Solano College never even gave this man a department funeral or even make mention of his sacrifice to this day. There is little to no memories of this hero who had dedicated over 20 plus years to the College community, Pinole and Richmond communities. That is truly heartbreaking even though his end of watch didn’t come from a gunshot his dedication on the job was the same as every man and woman that takes that Oath and wears the badge. Shame on you Chief and bigger shame on the SCC board of governors.

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