Master Officer – Detective Richard Sterling Dukatz, died at his home on December 18, 2008 from pancreatic cancer.
Rick's career in law enforcement started in 1985 as a Constable and then a Reserve Officer for the Salt Lake County Sheriff's Office and the South Jordan Police Department. He was soon hired as a full-time Patrol Officer for the South Jordan Police Department. Rick then began working at the Murray City Police Department in 1990. He served as a K-9 officer, a Field Training Officer, a Community Oriented Policing Officer, and spent 10 years on the Murray SWAT team. He also spent three years with the DEA Metro Narcotics Task Force as a Narcotics Detective. His last assignment was working as a Child Abuse Detective.
Rick received the Purple Heart in 1992 for injuries sustained in the line of duty, and was honored in 2007 with the Chief's Star Award for his outstanding work as a Homicide Detective. He also received six Division Commander Awards and several other achievement awards.
Rick was looking forward to retirement in May of 2009, spending more time with his wife of 23 years, his five children and his two dogs. These plans tragically changed when in October of 2008, the heartbreaking legacy of many of Utah meth cops struck, and he was diagnosed with an inoperable cancer. Rick was part of a growing group of officers who are suffering from various ailments brought on by entering meth labs in the line of duty. At the time of his death, ten officers had died from cancer, most at a very young age, another estimated 80 are sick.
On a personal note, Rick was loved for his sharp wit and his fun outlook on life. Rick enjoyed fixing and racing cars, specifically Camaro's, and going for rides with his wife on his Harley.
Detective Dukatz is buried at the Murray City Cemetery.