‘A very compassionate deputy’: Remembering Michael Levison

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — At just 30 years old, Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Deputy Michael Levison was the youngest member on board when Metro 2 went down, south of Las Vegas.

His family, friends and colleagues said their final goodbyes Wednesday morning during a memorial service at The Pit.

“This day is not something I ever envisioned,” said Michael’s mother, Suzanne Pineda-Levison. “I have learned so much about the team on Metro 2. It brings me great pride to know that Michael was in wonderful company.”
Michael’s father, Danny Levison, said his son was a man with a mission.

“He pursued an active and challenging career that allowed him for opportunities to serve his country and his community,” he said.

Michael dedicated his life to serving and protecting others, long before he joined the department in 2017. He received his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from UNM, then served his country through the Air National Guard.

“All who knew Michael, during these major milestones of his life, knew how pure his heart was,” said Michael’s brother Phil Levison, who served alongside him as a fellow BCSO deputy. “Throughout all the people we met, and the friendships we shared over the years, Michael was always referred to in any group as the best of us.”

“He was a crisis negotiator, a field training officer, emergency response team, leader, and a tactical flight officer,” Sheriff Manny Gonzales said. “He was a team player. He was there for everybody. He wasn’t there to serve himself.”

Sheriff Gonzales shared one example, after watching Michael’s response to a recent custody dispute.

“He went to the vehicle where the two-year-old child was, unbuckled the child, and he took that child to his vehicle, and allowed that child to play around with the lights and siren and take them out of that situation,” he said. “He told the child, ‘don’t worry, I’m going to be here for you. So whatever you need, I’m going to be here for you.’”

Sheriff Gonzales went on to say Michael always focused on the victim.

“That was most important to Michael, because he’s a very compassionate deputy,” he said.

The young deputy showed his family and loved ones the same commitment at home.

“Over a decade ago, Michael promised me in passing – it was adorable – he said, ‘Noe, no matter what happens to me, I promise you will be taken care of,'” said Michael’s long-time partner, Noelle Ashoo. “As you’ve kept your promise, I will keep mine. I’ll take care of the family.”

Michael’s father said his son shared his love for serving the community and his family with a love for cars.

“One night, we were invited over to Michael and Noelle’s for dinner, and we walk up, the garage door is open, Michael’s there sitting on the ground, polishing his rims with a toothbrush,” he said. “Michael had a passion for his cars. It became his addiction. So that might be a reason for all his overtime.”

Family friend, Mamie Ashoo, said her love for Asian and European supercars and Michael’s love for his Camaro, always gave them plenty to talk about.

“I love you, and until we meet again, I will make sure your Camaro is taken care of,” she said.

One by one, those closest to Michael said their final goodbyes.

“I stand here with my heartbroken, my mind clouded in my world upside down,” his father said. “I realize that life is what you make of it. My son taught me that. I will remember love and honor my son for the rest of the days of my life.”

“Watching my children achieve from the first words, their first steps, their first accomplishments and overjoyed at everything Michael aspired to be,” his mother said. “I will miss my baby.”

“He’s still watching out for us, giving us all a hard time for not washing our cars,” Noelle said. “I love you, Michael. I miss you something awful.”

“We will think of you, always hear you, in every siren see you, and every flash of red and blue light,” Phil said. “Until we see you again Michael. Go with God. Your work here is done.”

The Bernalillo County Deputy Sheriff Association set up a GoFundMe for the families of the four crash victims. Click here to donate or for more information.