Brandon Mendoza posthumously promoted to sergeant - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Brandon Mendoza posthumously promoted to sergeant

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Mesa Police Sgt. Brandon Mendoza (Source: Mesa Police Department) Mesa Police Sgt. Brandon Mendoza (Source: Mesa Police Department)
A memorial board quickly fills up with tribute messages in honor of Mendoza. (Source: CBS 5 News) A memorial board quickly fills up with tribute messages in honor of Mendoza. (Source: CBS 5 News)
MESA, AZ (CBS5) -

The Mesa police officer who was killed on a Valley freeway by a wrong-way driver Monday night has been posthumously promoted to the rank of sergeant.

The honor for Brandon Mendoza came during visitation services Thursday night for the 32-year-old veteran of the Mesa police force.

A Mass will be celebrated Friday at 10 a.m. at All Saints Catholic Church located at 1534 N. Recker Road in Mesa.

Immediately following the service, at about 11:30 a.m., a procession is planned to the Queen of Heaven Cemetery at 1500 E. Baseline Road in Mesa.

The procession will head south on Recker to Brown, west on Brown to Higley, south on Higley to Baseline, west on Baseline to Harris and north on Harris to the ceremony.   

Tributes for Mendoza have poured in this week.

Mesa's Vice Mayor Christopher Glover called Brandon Mendoza his friend and described him as a man of courage and conviction.

"His life was filled with love, loyalty and laughter," said Glover. "He had the biggest heart of anyone I knew."

Mendoza seemed to have made a positive impact wherever he went - whether it was in Mesa, where he worked, or in Phoenix, where he lived.

"I'll miss that such a compassionate person has left this Earth too soon, because there was nothing or no one he wouldn't help," said Mendoza's friend, Melissa Simpson.

"I'm at a loss," retired Mesa Police Officer Helen Simmonds said. "The citizens who never had contact with him don't know what they missed. And people who did have contact with him know what they're going to miss."

"He was just a very caring person, human being and did a lot for his community, and it's just a sad day that he's lost his life," said Chandra Hardenburg who runs Pittie Me Rescue in Gilbert.

Mendoza was an icon in the Mesa Police Department who "epitomized what community policing is all about," said Mesa Police Chief Frank Milstead. "He is everything that as a chief you want an officer to be."

The last officer the Mesa Police Department lost was Officer Steve Pollard in a fatal collision on the Loop 202 in 1994, Milstead said.

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