Reserve Officer Taira was killed as a result of a police helicopter crash. Reserve Officer Taira, an observer for the helicopter unit, and two other officers were conducting aerial patrols following a tornado. In between patrols the officers were dispatched to investigate a report of a burglar on a roof. As the helicopter took off it struck a power line, causing it to crash. The officers survived the initial impact and Reserve Officer Taira was able to exit the aircraft.
Reserve Officer Taira then returned to the aircraft in an attempt to rescue his two partners. One of the helicopter’s rotors struck Reserve Officer Taira in the head, killing him.
Reserve Officer Taira was posthumously awarded the department’s Medal of Valor.