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Hero Down: Phoenix Police Department Sergeant Timothy ‘Tim’ Wheeler Dies Unexpectedly

Phoenix, AZ – Phoenix Police Department (PPD) Sergeant Timothy “Tim” Wheeler died unexpectedly on May 9 after suffering a medical emergency at his home, according to his department.

The 44-year-old sergeant’s exact cause of death was not immediately released.

The PPD confirmed the loss of Sgt. Wheeler in a tweet on May 11.

“We are deeply saddened to announce the passing of Sgt. Tim Wheeler who passed away from a medical event at home on May 9, 2023,” the department said. “Rest in peace Sgt. Wheeler; you will be dearly missed.”

Sgt. Wheeler served in the U.S. Army and was a military police officer in Germany prior to his career in county and municipal law enforcement, according to his obituary.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Utah Valley University and later served the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office before joining the PPD in 2007.

Sgt. Wheeler was assigned to the Central City, South Mountain, and Estrella Mountain precincts during his time with the PPD, and also served on the Tactical Training Detail and Transit Unit, according to his obituary.

He held a rescue diver certification and was a member of the Tactical Response Unit.

Sgt. Wheeler was assigned to the Desert Horizon Precinct at the time of his death.

“Tim will be remembered as a devoted husband, and loving father, a precious son, a little brother, a big brother, and a true leader to his family, friends, coworkers, and community,” his obituary read. “His subtle sense of humor and passion for pranks will be carried in the memories and hearts of those who knew and loved him.”

Sgt. Wheeler leaves behind his wife of 17 years, Jennifer, as well as their three children, Ava, Connor, and Brendan.

He is also survived by his siblings, uncles, aunts, cousins, and many friends and extended family members.

Sgt. Wheeler will be laid to rest on May 22.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Phoenix Police Department Sergeant Timothy “Tim” Wheeler, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.

Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

View all articles
Written by Holly Matkin


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