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Son of Anthony police officer awarded first J.R. Stewart scholarship

Son of Anthony police officer awarded first J.R. Stewart scholarship

The JR Stewart 141 Foundation awarded its first scholarship to the son of an area law enforcement officer this fall. 

Arturo “Tury” Guerrero Jr., 19, is a sophomore at New Mexico State University majoring in counseling, and community psychology with a minor in psychology, and plans on working with youth. 

When he isn’t studying Tury can be found on the drum line of NMSU’s marching band. 

Tury said he was surprised when he was notified of the $1,000 scholarship award because he didn’t seek it out specifically. When he was applying for scholarships last year there was a question on the form asking whether someone in his family was in law enforcement so he checked “yes.”

The scholarship honors J.R. Stewart, a well-known officer who worked for the Anthony Police Department and Las Cruces Police Department and was a former candidate for Doña Ana County Sheriff.

Shortly after retiring, Stewart was killed in November 2017 when the motorcycle he was riding was struck by a carjacked Toyota 4-Runner fleeing police.

The memorial scholarship in his honor was established in 2018. The fund benefits the children and grandchildren of law enforcement officers in Doña Ana County.

Proud of one another

Tury said the scholarship means there are people out there who care about law enforcement officers and their families. 

“I’m not necessarily super passionate about learning law enforcement or being in the career in law enforcement, but just the fact that … they want to take care of me as I’m trying to go through college and my dad’s in police force,” he said. 

Tury said he grew up being proud of his father’s career. 

“When I was in kindergarten I felt pride knowing my dad was in the State Police and sometimes when he would take me to school he’d take me in his police car and I remember being proud of that, not necessarily in an obnoxious way, but just knowing my dad puts his life on the line when he’s on duty and everything like that,” he said. 

In 2020, after a spate of police killings, protesters in major American cities as well as Las Cruces, have taken to the streets to call for defunding police departments.

Tury said that pride in police has turned into concern for his and his father’s safety.

“But at the same time you have to balance it and know where my dad stands … (I) know how good of a man he is and all that so I’m going to deal with it but am still proud of him, who he is and what he’s chosen to do with his life,” he said. 

Guerrero Sr., in turn, is proud of his son.

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“My son has been doing outstanding work since I can remember, since junior high and he’s always on top of school, getting straight A’s. He’s always pushed himself, so its a great honor and he’s doing awesome in school,” the father said. “It does mean a lot. I’m very proud of him … he’s a great son,” Arturo said. 

Guerrero Sr. and Stewart worked together for a short time on the Anthony PD force and he said he’s glad his son is the first recipient of the scholarship carrying his former colleague’s name.

The father said his son’s penchant for helping people is similar to his own passion and why he became a police officer. Arturo said he saw his Tury’s helping nature when his son befriended fellow high school students who were shy.

“(He’s) tried to help them achieve their goals and just make them feel welcome and needed. Just very proud an awesome role model and always there to help out people. That’s why he enjoys,” Guerrero Sr. said.

‘Legacy will remain’ 

Rosie Stewart, J.R.’s wife, said her late husband was very concerned with children and his fellow officers, so she’s excited to see his legacy live on through the scholarship and foundation.

“My husband, his love for children was just great,” she said. “Of course he cared for all children, he always worried about his fellow brothers, his police officers, he wanted to be able to do something for them and other children and that’s what our foundation is all about,” she said.

Rosie said she wants the community to remember her husband as compassionate, lovable and a man with a big heart. 

JR Stewart

“It’s good to know that his legacy will remain and he won’t be forgotten,” she said. 

The two met in 1979 when J.R. was attending the police academy but didn’t get married until 20 years later. For decades they did everything together and when he was killed she said her world was turned upside down. 

“It seems just like yesterday that all this happened,” she said. “It’s just a big part of me was taken from me. I know he’s in a good place and I will see him again.”

Rosie said she’s excited for Tury Guerrero.

“I’m glad that we can be of some help to this young man,” she said. 

The JR Stewart 141 Foundation was established after Stewart’s death when he was struck by the carjacked vehicle driven by Daniel Lowell.

In February, Lowell was sentenced to 449 months behind bars. Trista Schlaefli, who was in the passenger seat at the time of the crash, pleaded guilty in 2018 to six counts in connection with the incident.

In March, Rosie Stewart settled a lawsuit over her husband’s death with the City of Las Cruces for $1 million. 

The scholarship honors J.R. Stewart, a well-known officer who worked for the Anthony Police Department and Las Cruces Police Department and was a former candidate for Doña Ana County Sheriff.

Shortly after retiring, Stewart was killed in November 2017 when the motorcycle he was riding was struck by a carjacked Toyota 4-Runner fleeing police.

The memorial scholarship in his honor was established in 2018. The fund benefits the children and grandchildren of law enforcement officers in Doña Ana County.

Proud of one another

Tury said the scholarship means there are people out there who care about law enforcement officers and their families. 

“I’m not necessarily super passionate about learning law enforcement or being in the career in law enforcement, but just the fact that … they want to take care of me as I’m trying to go through college and my dad’s in police force,” he said. 

Tury said he grew up being proud of his father’s career. 

“When I was in kindergarten I felt pride knowing my dad was in the State Police and sometimes when he would take me to school he’d take me in his police car and I remember being proud of that, not necessarily in an obnoxious way, but just knowing my dad puts his life on the line when he’s on duty and everything like that,” he said. 

In 2020, after a spate of police killings, protesters in major American cities as well as Las Cruces, have taken to the streets to call for defunding police departments.

Tury said that pride in police has turned into concern for his and his father’s safety.

“But at the same time you have to balance it and know where my dad stands … (I) know how good of a man he is and all that so I’m going to deal with it but am still proud of him, who he is and what he’s chosen to do with his life,” he said. 

Guerrero Sr., in turn, is proud of his son.

“My son has been doing outstanding work since I can remember, since junior high and he’s always on top of school, getting straight A’s. He’s always pushed himself, so its a great honor and he’s doing awesome in school,” the father said. “It does mean a lot. I’m very proud of him … he’s a great son,” Arturo said. 

Guerrero Sr. and Stewart worked together for a short time on the Anthony PD force and he said he’s glad his son is the first recipient of the scholarship carrying his former colleague’s name.

The father said his son’s penchant for helping people is similar to his own passion and why he became a police officer. Arturo said he saw his Tury’s helping nature when his son befriended fellow high school students who were shy.

“(He’s) tried to help them achieve their goals and just make them feel welcome and needed. Just very proud an awesome role model and always there to help out people. That’s why he enjoys,” Guerrero Sr. said.

‘Legacy will remain’ 

Rosie Stewart, J.R.’s wife, said her late husband was very concerned with children and his fellow officers, so she’s excited to see his legacy live on through the scholarship and foundation.

“My husband, his love for children was just great,” she said. “Of course he cared for all children, he always worried about his fellow brothers, his police officers, he wanted to be able to do something for them and other children and that’s what our foundation is all about,” she said.

Rosie said she wants the community to remember her husband as compassionate, lovable and a man with a big heart. 

“It’s good to know that his legacy will remain and he won’t be forgotten,” she said. 

The two met in 1979 when J.R. was attending the police academy but didn’t get married until 20 years later. For decades they did everything together and when he was killed she said her world was turned upside down. 

“It seems just like yesterday that all this happened,” she said. “It’s just a big part of me was taken from me. I know he’s in a good place and I will see him again.”

Rosie said she’s excited for Tury Guerrero.

“I’m glad that we can be of some help to this young man,” she said.

The JR Stewart 141 Foundation was established after Stewart’s death when he was struck by the carjacked vehicle driven by Daniel Lowell.

In February, Lowell was sentenced to 449 months behind bars. Trista Schlaefli, who was in the passenger seat at the time of the crash, pleaded guilty in 2018 to six counts in connection with the incident.

In March, Rosie Stewart settled a lawsuit over her husband’s death with the City of Las Cruces for $1 million.

Bethany Freudenthal can be reached at bfreudenthal@lcsun-news.com, 575-541-5449 or @bethanyfreuden1 on Twitter. 

Source: Las Cruses Sun News

We Are Pleased To Announce Our “Buckle Up” Campaign

We Are Pleased To Announce Our “Buckle Up” Campaign

JR Stewart hated to see kids in vehicles not buckled up. He spent his career spanning 35 years in law enforcement working to educate and show parents how to make sure the kids were safe when riding in a car.

Not only kids, but everyone needs to be “Buckled Up”, so the JR Stewart 141 Foundation has had new “Buckle Up” stickers printed to get the message out. We invite everyone to be on the lookout for them on vehicles and drive-thru windows in the coming days.

JR Stewart

JR Stewart

JR Stewart was a man that did so much for so many, and never asked for anything in return. He did so much in life, and he will continue to help others through his charities and foundation. The JR Stewart 141 Foundation is dedicated to the continued support of the causes he held close to his heart, and his passion for helping others like local children through programs such as “Shop with a Cop.” The foundation has plans to focus on more child safety initiatives like providing car seats for new families in need. We will also continue to support fellow officers through the creation of a scholarship at New Mexico State University for the children of law enforcement families. JR was an advocate for police officers, and The 141 Foundation will continue that support through a sponsorship program focused on sending young officers to Washington, D.C. to attend the National Law Enforcement Memorial Week Services.

JR will be remembered for the profound impact he had on our community. The pain of his loss has forced his family and closes friends to think about what was truly important in his life, and how we can ensure that his passion for helping others will live forever. JR will be remembered for his love, his faith, and the warmth he brought to friends and strangers alike. He gave so much, and he continues to give in the form of hope. The JR Stewart 141 Foundation was created in honor of an amazing man. We lost a friend, a brother, a son, an uncle, a husband, and a father: We will never lose hope.