INDEPENDENCE, Mo. — A bill to rename a portion of a busy highway after Independence officer Blaize Madrid-Evans is nearing the final passage in the Missouri legislature.
Madrid-Evans died in a shootout in 2021 while trying to serve an arrest warrant. The bill would rename part of 24 Highway that more than 40,000 drivers travel on each day.
“I think it’s important to honor fallen heroes. I think that’s the important part of this. Blaize was 22 years old, was engaged to be married,” Representative Robert Sauls (D) Missouri House District 21, who is sponsoring the bill, said.
Rep. Sauls sponsored this bill to ensure officer Blaize Madrid-Evans is never forgotten.
The young man had just begun his career in law enforcement. Colleagues say all he wanted to do was help people.
“This was pretty exciting for us to hear that this was proposed. During the time he was here you build that comradery and you build those friendships, even in that short period of time and that tragedy that happened with him, it could have easily could have been anyone of us,” Officer Jack Taylor with the Independence Police Department said.
If passed, the law would rename 291 from route 78 to 24 Highway in Independence to Police Officer Blaize Madrid-Evans Memorial Highway.
In a statement FOX4 Madrid-Evans mother Shannon Evans said:
“We are so thankful to Representative Sauls for introducing this bill to honor Blaize. A memorial highway in Independence is a wonderful way to keep his memory alive to the community he served as an EMT for AMR and an Independence Police Officer. Thank you so much for helping to keep his memory alive.”
Evans also sent her best wises to Officer Muhlbauer and His K9 champ.
Blaize Madrid-Evans impact reaches further than recognition. Because of the tragedy that took his life, Independence police made changes to keep other officers safe.
“We’ve kind of taken some steps to when we’re responding to those types of calls try to keep officers safer as they approach,” Officer Taylor said.
Sauls expects the bill to make it out of committee next week, then go to a vote on the house floor.