Was Wyatt Earp the model for the Peace Officer statue?

I recently visited the Arizona Peace Officer Memorial at the plaza in front of the state capitol in Phoenix. Was Wyatt Earp the model for the statue?

Vanessa Keller
Scottsdale, Arizona

As a charter member of the Arizona Peace Officer Memorial Board, I recruited artist Wes Chapman to bid on the quarter-million dollar project in 1986. Gordon Selby, a retired Department of Public Safety major and retired Phoenix City Police captain, served as the model for the statue. Selby was a local legend during his years as an Arizona lawman. Today he resides in Payson.

That being said, many of us cannot ignore the striking resemblance the statue bears to Wyatt Earp.

What do you think?

Marshall Trimble

Marshall Trimble is Arizona’s official historian, board president of the Arizona Historical Society and vice president of the Wild West History Association. His latest book is Arizona’s Outlaws and Lawmen; History Press, 2015. If you have a question, write: Ask the Marshall, P.O. Box 8008, Cave Creek, AZ 85327 or e-mail him at marshall.trimble@scottsdalecc.edu