The Montgomery County Police Department is deeply saddened to announce the death of one of their officers. Officer Hector Ismael Ayala died in the line of duty at 3:19 a.m. on Sunday, April 4. He was responding to a call to provide officer assistance for a fight in progress at a restaurant/bar at the intersection of Veirs Mill Road and Randolph Road in Wheaton. For reasons still under investigation, Officer Ayala’s police cruiser left the roadway and struck a tree in the 3000 block of Randolph Road. He was transported to an area hospital where he succumbed to the injuries he received in the crash.
In the department’s history, he is the 16th Montgomery County Police Officer, and first Hispanic officer to die in the line of duty.
Officer Ayala was a seven-year veteran of the Montgomery County Police Department and was assigned to the Montgomery County Police 4th District in Wheaton. He worked the midnight shift whose officers serve from 8:30 p.m. to 6:30 a.m. He was fluent in Spanish and frequently served as a translator for the department and the many Hispanic community members served, particularly in the greater Wheaton neighborhoods.
Officer Ayala was born in Paterson, New Jersey, in January of 1979. He attended Passaic County Community College in Paterson, New Jersey, and graduated with honors from William Paterson University in Wayne, New Jersey. There he majored in Political Science and Sociology and received a Bachelor of Arts degree.
He became a member of Police Officer Training Session 42 on February 3, 2003, and graduated from the Montgomery County Police Academy Entrance Level Training Program on July 27, 2003. He spent his entire career working in the Montgomery County Police 4th District. He attended a Basic Investigator School and served as a Field Training Officer to newly graduated officers. In his spare time he enjoyed working on cars and collecting tiny toy cars and trucks for his son. He was generous in offering his time to help baby sit for other officers’ children when they had a special need. He also enjoyed boxing and had taught many of his fellow recruits how to box. During his career he was nominated for several awards and commended for many examples of his excellent police work. Promoting traffic safety was very important to him. In one year he wrote 800 traffic citations, and only one person complained about receiving a ticket. He was always polite and explained what the driver had done wrong. In 2005, he was particularly instrumental in helping to save the life of a man who was attempting to commit suicide by jumping from the roof of the Glenmont Metro Station. It was Officer Ayala and two back-up officers who were able to physically subdue the victim and prevent him from jumping.
Officer Ayala was devoted to his wife Melissa, their 14-month-old son Hector, Jr., and was proudly looking forward to the birth of triplets this coming June. He is also survived by his parents, Hector and Luz, a 20-year-old brother Geovani, and a 12-year-old sister Jenny Marie.
His District Commander Nancy Demme said, “The department has lost a true asset. Officer Ayala was always helpful to his fellow officers and devoted to serving the Hispanic community. He will be deeply missed.” Montgomery County Police Chief J. Thomas Manger said, “Officer Ayala gave his life doing what he loved--being a police officer serving the people of Montgomery County. A select few raise their right hand and take the oath of service, an oath that puts their life second to those they protect. Officer Ayala took his oath and served proudly since his first day at the academy. I ask all of you to join me in praying for his family.”
Viewings for Officer Ayala will take place on Thursday, April 8 between 2:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. at St. Peter’s Catholic Church located at 2900 Olney-Sandy Spring Road in Olney, Maryland. The Funeral Mass for Officer Ayala will take place on Friday, April 9 at 10:00 a.m. at St. Peter’s Catholic Church. Immediately following the service he will be laid to rest at the Delaney Valley Memorial Gardens located at 200 East Padomia Road in Timonium, Maryland. The viewing, funeral, and burial are only open to members of the family and the public safety family.
Donations to the Ayala Family may be made to the Montgomery County Law Enforcement Officers Relief Fund (MCLEORF). Checks should be made payable to MCLEORF. Please list “Ayala Family” in the memo line of the check. Send to:
c/o: FOP Lodge 35
1812 Office park Drive
Montgomery Village, MD 20886
*Taken from the Montgomery County Media Services Division - 240.773.5030*