Sergeant Paul De Weert
Department: Las Vegas Metropolitan, Nevada, P.D.
End of Watch: October 8, 1967
Sergeant Paul De Weert joined the Las Vegas Police Department in January of 1948, and was known by his fellow officers as “Pappy.”
He spent only a short time in the Uniform Division before they recognized his talents and promoted to a detective. His personal file shows many citations and commendations for displaying outstanding efforts in solving some of the most puzzling crimes.
He broke in dozens of rookies, many of whom would later become the Department’s leading detectives. Former Police Chief Lorin Bunker said of him, “He inspired confidence in all the officers.” Sergeant De Weert was a family man as well as a full-time police officer. He loved to hunt and fish and pursued his sports with his family. The popular, much loved “cops’ cop” spent nearly his entire life serving either his country of his community.
He was only a short time away from retirement and had made numerous plans for spending his retirement in a way that would allow him to do more with his family. That retirement dream was shattered on Sunday evening, October 8, 1967. A drunk ex-convict shot down the unarmed 20 year police veteran in cold blood on a dark North Las Vegas intersection at 2030 hours.
Sergeant De Weert was a 24-hour cop and although technically “off duty,” he had apparently decided to take enforcement action against his slayer who, by his own admission, said that Sergeant De Weert had told him to stop so he could talk to him.
At age 60, Sergeant De Weert, who had survived World War II as one of three original members of his 2nd Marine Division Unit, and had survived several previous police shootings, died in a senseless slaying just two blocks from his home. He left a wife and two teenage sons.