August 31, 2017
Tucson Parks and Recreation Department
900 S. Randolph Way
Tucson, AZ 85716
RE: Jeffrey Ross Memorial Park
Dear Parks Director;
Thank you for the opportunity to let you know the Ross family fully supports the renaming of Alvernon Park to Jeffrey Ross Memorial Park.
Jeff was my beloved brother and friend, tragically killed in the line of duty as a Tucson police officer in 1982.
It was 1958 when my parents moved from Harvey, Illinois to 710 N. Longfellow Avenue in Tucson. My brother Jeff and I (ages 4 and 5 respectively) were so excited when we pulled up and saw the park right across the street. The first thing we did was run over to check it out. We would spend countless hours in that park over the next 12 years, my brother and I, playing softball and football, meeting new friends, making plans.
In many ways, we grew up in that park.
Some nights after dinner we would run over to the park and play until dark. If we didn’t finish our dinner though, we had to watch the other kids play. This was torture!
My little sister Heather came along when we were in junior high in 1966. She grew to be as enamored of the park as we were. I remember one time she climbed out of the bathtub stark naked and ran right out the back door and over to the swings with us chasing her. She loved those swings.
My dad carved our initials into a tree that is still there today.
I remember on occasion police officers would stop at the park when doing their rounds. Jeff was always the first one to go and greet the officers, sometimes causing our games to be postponed while they talked. The skills Jeff would acquire there – teamwork, conflict resolution, leadership, etc. – would later propel him into law enforcement where he naturally excelled.
Jeff loved being a police officer. I remember being with him during a ride-a-long and we cruised through the old neighborhood, surprised at how small the park seemed compared to it being our whole world when we were young. During that ride Jeff told me that being a police officer made him very happy.
There is no doubt in our minds that Jeff would be extremely proud and humbled to have the park named after him.