Detective killed in line of duty honored with Tahoe baseball park dedication
TAHOE VISTA, Calif. — The memory of a fallen sheriff’s detective who held deep ties to Lake Tahoe and a fond love for baseball will forever have a place at home plate on the North Shore.
More than 100 agency officials, family members and residents gathered Saturday at the North Tahoe Regional Park for the renaming of Ball Field No. 2 in honor of Placer County Sheriff’s Office Det. Michael Davis Jr., who was killed in the line of duty on Oct. 24, 2014.
“I think a lot of us when we think of Michael Davis, we think about Oct. 24,” Placer County Sheriff Edward Bonner said during the dedication. “We think about a day, that cataclysmic day, but we’re here today to celebrate a life — all the things, all the days, all the hours that came before.”
From the early to mid-90s, Davis Jr. worked for the North Tahoe Public Utility District and served as a part-time firefighter and EMT for North Tahoe Fire Protection District before going into law enforcement.
“He was so giving,” said Debbie McMahon, Davis Jr.’s mother. “If someone needed someone or something, he was always there. … He just always made time. He had a good heart.”
Davis Jr. started his law enforcement career in 1995, serving as a reserve deputy for PCSO before taking a full-time position with the Auburn Police Department. Later he returned to PCSO, with his latest assignment in the Crimes Against Persons unit.
“He was a champion of victims,” Bonner recalled. “When someone was hurt, he was a guy who tried to solve the mysteries and bring perpetrators to justice. He was just dedicated to it.”
Davis Jr. was shot to death in Auburn while pursuing a suspect in the death of fellow law enforcement officer Danny Oliver, a deputy with the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office, and the shooting of a civilian.
He was 42, five days shy from his 43rd birthday.
Ironically, Davis Jr.’s death occurred on the anniversary of his father’s death. Michael Davis Sr. died in the line of duty on Oct. 24, 1988, while serving with the Riverside County Sheriff’s Office.
“I miss (Michael) every second of every day,” said Jason Davis, Michael’s brother and a sergeant with PCSO,. “The thing that I cling to that makes any part of his death make sense is this: The community that we serve has proven themselves worthy of the pain and the loss our family and I feel every day.”
Jason went on to describe the family’s connection to Tahoe, Michael’s passion for baseball — a game he played and coached — and Michael and his dad’s link to the field.
“ … (In) getting this field named in honor of Michael’s memory, I remember thinking there is no more an appropriate place in this county or on this planet,” he said.
McMahon added: “It’s so fitting for him because he loved baseball, he played on this field and he took care of this field, and his dad played on this field. … To be named after Michael, it’s wonderful.”
Following the field dedication, NTFPD and PCSO members played an inaugural softball game on the newly dubbed “Mike Davis Jr. Field.”
“In the years ahead, some young ball players are going to be curious about why this place is named Mike Davis Jr. Field,” said NTPUD board president John Bergmann. “ … I hope they are curious to learn more about Mike’s story and be inspired to lead a good life of public service and volunteerism.
“In this way, Mike’s memory will live on and touch the lives of others in our community.”
The NTPUD, which oversees North Tahoe Regional Park, where the field is located, collaborated with the Placer County Deputy Sheriff’s Association to make the dedication possible.
According to the PUD, the Sheriff’s Association has provided a new scoreboard and plaque for the field and will assist with field maintenance.
“Honestly, I can say that out of all the honors Michael has been given since his death, this is the one he would have been most proud of,” Jason said.