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Memorial to honor officer killed by drunken driver


Jan 6, 2007

Steve Schneider, a 12-year veteran firefighter assigned to Tempeís McClintock Road station, has become known for something other than the bravery and expertise he displays on the job.

Schneider crafts sculptures honoring firefighters and police officers.

Schneiderís latest work is a sculpture of a firefighter handing a child to a police officer for the town of Gilbert's Police and Fire Building.

The sculpture represents Rob Targosz, a Gilbert officer who was killed by a drunken driver on April 30.

Crafted of bronze, the 7-foot sculpture will be dedicated on the one-year anniversary of Targosz's death.

"The Gilbert project is what I consider a snapshot of two very honorable professions--police and fire," Schneider said.

"Both professions offer a unique opportunity to help other people in times of need."

In 1995, Schneider sculpted a piece depicting two firefighters advancing hose lines in honor of Ed Gaicki, a Tempe firefighter who died in a fire in 1980.

The sculpture stands in the courtyard of the Tempe Fire Administration Building, 300 feet from where Gaicki lost his life.

A self-taught sculptor who has been honing his skills for 20 years, Schneider says he enjoys the challenges of helping people and making art of what he and other firefighters and police officers do every day.

"I do sculpting for the creative outlet and the satisfaction of having an idea and being able to give it life," he said.

Living on four acres, Schneider appreciates the peaceful space to create his work and hear his family's input about his latest creation.

"Whenever I see my completed work, it gives me great satisfaction in my God-given ability to take an idea and give it form, which then can be shared with others," Schneider said.



Photo courtesy City of Tempe Public Information Department


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