MESA, AZ - Officer Brandon Mendoza wasn't a household name, but his quiet efforts can clearly be seen in a Mesa community where he volunteered much of his time.
"I don't think it's fully hit me yet, really I don't think it's fully hit any of us here yet," said Mesa Boys & Girls Club Director Chris Quasula. "He helped us very much, did so much for us and the children and he was a true friend."
The 32-year old officer graduated from Mesa High School and clearly made it a mission to give back to his community.
Mendoza spent quite a bit of time at the Boys & Girls Club hanging out with the children, talking about good guys, bad guys, school and their community.
"He'd come hang out with the kids, play basketball with them, even in uniform during a break, it was great, all the kids knew him," said Quasula, while standing next to the playground. "The other cool thing was if anything happened in this neighborhood whether it was here at the club or school or park, he was the first one here whether he got the call or not."
Mendoza was also known for his time at the Boys & Girls Club every Thanksgiving. Mendoza would buy turkeys, help cook them and help feed members of the community at the Club.
"He was a great person, really, he was a good friend and really cared about this area," said Quasula.
A block away from the Boys & Girls Club, Mendoza spent a lot of time targeting a park.
"The park nearby, after dark you definitely did not want to be there, it was just filled with crime and drugs," said Quasula.
Mendoza took upon himself and took aim, cleaning up the park and getting the City of Mesa to support his move.
"Happy to say now everyone feels safe in that park," said Quasula. "You can see all of us down at the park and it's clean, everything is new and it's great."
When told we wished we knew about the things Mendoza had done at the Club and the park, Quasula said, Brandon would not have wanted anyone to know.
"Brandon never wanted an award or applause, he was just doing what he did and had and impact, I know that he would be very proud about what everybody is saying and honoring him the way they are."