END OF WATCH, Richard A. Confer 2/18/47 – 4/18/22

Posted on 9 Comments

Rick graduated from San Jose State in 1968 where he majored in Police Science, was a member of Chi Pi Sigma fraternity, and was immediately hired by Milpitas PD.

After spending a year there, he lateraled to SJPD where he worked patrol, traffic radar, motors, bomb squad, homicide crime scene investigation, burglary investigation, and Airport division. He promoted to the rank of sergeant where he returned to Patrol division, supervising a team of officers. He assumed the duties of supervising other officers in the bomb squad and had a hand in designing and setting up in the design and completion of SJPD’s bomb disposal site.

Rick attended many “E.O.D.” schools and conferences, many of which that he taught at or was a speaker. He had been invited to and assisted at such noteworthy historical disaster events such as the first N.Y. World Trade Center bombing, the second Trade Center disaster, the Oklahoma City Federal Building bombing, as well as traveling to “Ted Kazinsky’s” (Unabomber),remote cabin.

After his career with the PD, Rick worked for T.S.A. as a bomb threat assessment and identification specialist at San Jose International Airport. He held that post for 5 years. He also worked as a Special Deputy U.S. Marshal for 3 years at the San Jose Federal Courthouse.

Rick also was part of an F.B.I. select team of instructors that traveled worldwide for the U.S. Department of State , instructing “Post Blast Crime Scene Investigation” in such countries as Jordan, South Africa, Senegal, Sierra Leone, as well as too many others to list. He also pioneered a hard cased metal briefcase sized explosives training aid for post blast investigation, that is being used worldwide by scores of countries around the world for teaching bomb technicians crime scene collection and identification of collected evidence at a blast scene. He would produce as many as 12 units per year out of his shop in Auburn, CA.

Rick fought heroically over the last year fighting a cancer that was quickly spreading throughout his body. Unfortunately, this was too great a battle for him to overcome.

His immediate family is planning a celebration of his life in the area where he called his new home, the Northern California areas surrounding Placer, El Dorado and Nevada Counties where as many as 40 plus former SJPD ex-patriots moved to after their careers in San Jose. Rick attended monthly “breakfast meetings” with his friends regularly to tell the “war stories” from days gone by that we’ve all experienced.

Rick will always be remembered as a kind “giving” man, who was always charitable and loved to “joke around”. He is survived by his first wife Betty, of Broomfield Colorado, who was with him along with their daughter Christina and husband Marty and adult grandchildren Emily and Nate, of Goleta (Santa Barbara County), who have been at Rick’s side for weeks along with his 2 sisters, Sandy and Terry, from Russellville, Arkansas who were with him in his home to support him during his illness.

Rick is preceded in death by his second wife Nadine, who passed in 1990.

The time and location of Rick’s celebration of life will be announced in the coming weeks.

(The above information was furnished by Rick’s friend of 53 years, Bill Silva who has been in liaison with his immediate family).


9 Thoughts on “END OF WATCH, Richard A. Confer 2/18/47 – 4/18/22

  1. This is so sad to here. Our prayers go out to The family and friends. RIP Rich, you are a hero.

  2. Such a nice man. Rick scheduled our monthly breakfast meetings in Grass Valley for us retirees for years. He was at our last get together on Wed. April 23rd, less than a month before he passed. He was struggling and pushing a clumsy walker. Norm Punneo and I had Rick drive down the street a few blocks because he was still driving at the time to find him a better walker at a thrift shop and who was working there but Brenda Wells. She found him an outstanding walker and would not let Rick pay for it. He was so appreciative. Rick had planned on keeping up the monthly breakfast’s as long as he could but his health faded so quickly. We knew at the March breakfast it might be Rick’s last, so gathered to say our last goodbyes were: Tom Seck, Norm Punneo, Dan&April Bullock, Keith Little, Stan Russel and his daughter Sidney and me. RIP Rick.

  3. Rick was my fraternity brother at Chi Pi Sigma and we later shared 30 year carriers at SJPD. He was respected and was rock solid as an officer and whatever he took on at the PD. I will miss my fellow fraternity brother and brother officer. Thank you Bill for your excellent summation of Rick’s career. Don Tietgens, 1327

  4. I always remember Rick as soft spoken, quick to smile and a heck of an investigator. While Norm “Stormin Norman” Puneo and I were in BPU we assisted Rick with surveillance on one of his cases that led to the arrest of the prolific Ski Mask Rapist.
    Rest in Peace Sarge.

  5. Rick was my training officer in 1972 out of the academy. We had a good time and the experience I had with Rick led me to become a training officer. Rest in peace brother.

  6. Rick was a “class act” and the ultimate professional. I was aware of many of his career accomplishments but certainly not all; but then he was a very humble man. I so enjoyed his personality and his great sense of humor. He was truly a “man’s man”, a “cop’s cop” and a “gentleman’s gentleman”. Bill, thank you for sharing so much of Rick’s life and career with us. My sympathies go out to Rick’s family. He and his family are in my thoughts and prayers.

  7. Rest in peace old partner. You have CERTAINLY more than earned the right. May your memory be eternal. We will all miss you …. a lot. With a rough translation of a traditional wish out of my Greek background: “May the soil with which they cover you be forever light.”

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