A Typo in History: Corrected Spelling of 1st Fallen El Paso Officer Engraved on Memorial

Thomas Moad was the Assistant City Marshal for the El Paso (TX) Police Department in 1883. On a hot July afternoon that year, he was called to quell a disturbance at a local brothel. Arriving on the scene, he encountered an unruly patron and a struggle ensued. Marshal Moad was shot and killed, becoming the first El Paso Police officer to die in the line of duty.

When the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial was being designed, the NLEOMF asked law enforcement agencies to send lists of their fallen officers. When Marshall Moad’s name arrived, it was spelled incorrectly as “Mode,” instead of “Moad,” based on records that were available at the time. And, regrettably, that it how his name was engraved.

In 2008, Shane Moad, a descendant of Marshal Moad, realized the mistake and contacted Bobby Holguin of the El Paso Municipal Police Association and Ron De Lord of the Combined Law Enforcement Association of Texas to see if he could help get the name corrected on the El Paso and Texas law enforcement memorials. Mr. Holguin, in turn, forwarded the information to the NLEOMF Research Department, which began looking into the matter. With the help of Shane Moad, NLEOMF researchers were able to obtain copies of Thomas Moad’s service records, which correctly stated his name and title.

On Saturday, April 25, 2009, the name of Thomas Moad—spelled M-O-A-D—was permanently inscribed in the wall of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, DC. The new location of his name is Panel 26-East, Line 26. We are proud to correct this typographical error of history and to properly identify and honor Thomas Moad.