By Beth Hahn

Bernalillo County sheriff's Deputy James McGrane Jr. would have
dedication service in Tijeras on Saturday afternoon.

"He would have said 'I'm just doing my job,' '' James McGrane Sr.
told a crowd of about 100 law enforcement officers, EMTs and East
Mountains residents.

McGrane Jr. was shot and killed on March 22, 2006, a short
distance from the Bernalillo County Sheriff's Department substation
where a black granite memorial was unveiled in his honor

Investigators suspect Michael Paul Astorga, wanted in connection
with a separate November 2005 murder in Albuquerque, shot
McGrane during a traffic stop in Tijeras to avoid capture.

Bernalillo County Sheriff Darren White said the week leading up to
the March 22 anniversary of the shooting had been difficult for his
department, but that support from the East Mountains community
helped ease the pain.

"While we will continue to struggle with his loss, we recognize that
Jimmy has left an indelible mark on all of us," he told the crowd.

The black granite memorial eventually will be moved to a new
sheriff's department substation to be built in Tijeras, which will
bear McGrane's name, White said.

The memorial monument, featuring a picture of McGrane and the
likeness of an angel, bears this inscription: "Cry not for my
passing, for it was my honor to fight for you. Shed not tears of
sorrow, but tears of joy, for now, I stand with God."

McGrane Sr. said the words were a fitting description of what his
son would say to his fellow officers and others affected by his

"We wanted a memorial, because it's a reminder of how (McGrane
Jr.) would have felt," he said.
Through various fundraisers, the McGranes collected more than
$26,000 so that 300 officers could get special training on how to
react when they come under fire. McGrane Sr. said he would like to
see the training become an annual event for law enforcement
officers around the state.

The memorial dedication was part of a weeklong remembrance of
McGrane Jr. that also included a Catholic Mass and a reception in
Tijeras after the memorial dedication.

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Posted by Peter St. Cyr at 12:34 PM   

Deputy McGrane's "End of Watch" Marked with New Highway Sign.
For nearly three years a white cross has marked the spot along highway 337 where Bernalillo County Sheriff's
Deputy James McGrane was senselessly murdered during a routine traffic stop three years ago.

Now, a large green highway sign will remind driver's of McGrane's "end of watch" patrol on March 22, 2006.

On Friday, Governor Bill Richardson, Sheriff Darren White, McGrane's mother, father, sister, and nieces, the mayor
of Tijeras, and others, honored the fallen deputy and dedicated the rural road to McGrane.

Wearing his full dress uniform and white gloves, Sheriff Darren White told the crowd how much McGrane, an 11
year law enforcement vet, loved his job, even calling him a "hero."

McGrane's dad, who drives a school bus said he asked his young riders to pray for good weather for the dedication
ceremony, instead the wind and cold reminded the needless and chilling loss of his son.

McGrane said the new memorial would be a reminder of how his son lived...not died.

He also recalled how his son was afraid of the dark as a child, but loved patrolling the dark streets in the East
Mountains as an adult. His mother said her last phone call with her son was 12 hours before his death. She told the
crowd of nearly 150 people that McGrane told her he'd been invited to join the S.W.A.T., but was uncertain, because
he loved community policing and his East Mountain Assignment. Mrs. McGrane said she's certain her son would
be delighted with the crowd turnout, and that he's watching over deputies and police officers from heaven.

The McGrane's Foundation has been responsible for raising money for several advance street survival training
classes and workshops for law enforcement officer's statewide.

Deputy McGrane sacrificed his life protecting the citizens of Bernalillo County and the citizens of this great state. He
paid the ultimate price in the name of duty and public service. The naming of this Memorial Highway in honor of
Deputy McGrane is a way for us to thank him for his service and remember what he and other fellow law
enforcement officers do for us on a daily basis-putting their lives on the line in order to keep our communities safe.

State Transportation Commissioner Jackson Gibson said:

Naming this highway after Deputy McGrane is a fitting tribute to a man who gave his life in the line of duty. We hope
this Memorial Highway will serve as a lasting reminder of Deputy McGrane's legacy.

The dedication officially designates 29.3 miles of N.M. 337 from N.M. 333 to N.M. 55 between Tijeras and

the ultimate penalty is repealed by lawmakers in Santa Fe, or if the court tosses the death penalty, before
proceeding to trial.

Officer Street Survival Training
Deputy James F. McGrane, Jr.
Dedications and Honor
Members of the East Mountain Coalition of
Neighborhood and Landowners Association,
County Commissioner Michael Brasher and Village
of Tijeras Mayor Gloria Chavez will join the East of
Tijeras Mayor Gloria Chavez will join the East
Mountain community in a memorial tribute to fallen
Sheriff's Deputy James "Jimmy" McGrane on
Saturday, May 20, 2006.

A four-foot metal cross will be permanently placed
at the site Deputy McGrane was killed.
Immediately following, a tree will be planted at
memorial piece created by a member of the
McGrane family.  

The event will begin at 3:00 pm on Saturday, May
20, 2006 at Highway 337, immediately south of the
intersection in the middle of Tijeras. Highway 337
will be closed by the State Highway Department
during the memorial ceremony.