PHOENIX — It’s been a week since a crash killed Phoenix Police Officer Ginarro New. His partner is speaking out for the first time since hearing the tragic news.
Phoenix Officer Raul Saenz fought through an emotional week, after not only losing his partner but a good friend.
"Wish I could give him a hug and I'd tell him that I love him and, we're going to take care of his wife,” says Officer Saenz. "I've been sad and missing him. There's moments that are harder than others but kind of taking it one day at a time."
The pair worked together, side-by-side, for a year and a half. They got to know one another through good times and bad.
"Some of our best moments were riding together. Just hanging out, being in the car, the patrol car together, and handling calls. Something we liked to do was go to Filiberto’s, so we would go and do that or get some coffee,” says Officer Saenz.
Officer New was only 27 years old and just two years into his career.
"I think that he was a natural at this job. He was very good at talking to people and defusing situations. I think his prior history in being in the military helped him with that,” says Officer Saenz.
Saenz responded to the crash on Memorial Day near Cave Creek and Greenway roads. He had heard an officer was involved but had no idea it was his partner until he got to the scene.
"The moment I saw his patrol car, I was just doing my best not to think the worst. I was thinking, ‘OK, I just need to focus on what I'm doing right now and do my job and then I can think about that later,’” says Officer Saenz.
Officer Saenz found out shortly after the crash about New's death. He says he will move forward by honoring his former partner and friend every day on the job.
"By doing good police work and caring about people and doing a good job when I respond to calls. I think that will honor his life,” says Officer Saenz.
The Phoenix Police Foundation is collecting donations with all proceeds going to Officer New’s family. If you would like to help, please visit their website.
A visitation for Officer New is set for Wednesday, June 9, from 5 to 7 p.m. at Hansen’s Mortuary, located near 64th Street and Bell Road.
His funeral will be held at 9 a.m. on Thursday, June 10, at Dream City Church, located at 13613 N. Cave Creek Rd.