Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Fallen officers honored

I had the honor of being the keynote speaker at the annual memorial ceremony for fallen officers at the Oregon Police Academy. In attendance were several hundred uniformed police officers and the families of those men and women killed on duty, including the family of Seaside Police Sgt. Jason Goodding, whose end of watch was February 5, 2016.






, Statesman JournalPublished 8:01 p.m. PT May 8, 2018


Hundreds of city, county and state officers gathered to honor the Oregon law enforcement officers who died in the line of duty since the 1880s at the annual Fallen Law Enforcement Officers' Memorial Ceremony Tuesday afternoon.

While uniformed officers stood in the sun, dozens of family members of fallen officers found refuge under a white canopy at the fallen officers' memorial at the Oregon Public Safety Academy in Salem.

While there were no new names carved into the granite this year, officials announced there will be another name added next year.

Photo: MOLLY J. SMITH / Statesman Journal)
Ashland Police Officer Malcus Williams, who was the most recent Oregon officer to die in the line of duty on March 2, is scheduled to be honored in the 2019 ceremony.

"Williams was one of thousands of men and women who took an oath to serve and protect, and wear a badge and a uniform to ensure we live in safe communities," said Heidi Moawad, the public safety policy adviser to Gov. Kate Brown. "The process is underway to add his name to this memorial that already has too many."

He is the 184th Oregon officer to die in the line of duty.Williams was responding to a report of a domestic violence call when he experienced a "major medical event" and later died.

It is customary not to add names of a fallen officer to a memorial during the same year of their death, according to the Oregon Department of Public Safety Standards and Training.

The annual ceremony honors officers from city, county, state, tribal and federal law enforcement agencies who have served as law enforcement officers, corrections officers and parole and probation officers.

Photo: MOLLY J. SMITH / Statesman Journal)
Clatsop County District Attorney Joshua Marquis delivered the keynote address, saying it is important to honor fallen officers everyday and not just with annual ceremonies.

"Most societies going back thousands of years believe that if people’s names were remembered, their souls lived on," Marquis said. "The day that no one ever spoke their name again is the day they truly died."

Officials placed two wreaths at the closing of the ceremony, with one wreath representing the loss of a loved one by the families, and the other representing the loss of colleague by the broader law enforcement family.

Eriks Gabliks, the director of Department of Public Safety Standards and Training, or DPSST, said the memorial serves as a daily reminder of the sacrifices Oregon officers have made to protect residents and the state's natural resources.

"Each morning, officers attending basic training at the academy honor our nation, our state, and our fallen during the morning color ceremony," Gabliks said. "We gather here today for a purpose, we gather here to honor, we gather here to remember."

The ceremony was hosted in partnership with the Oregon Law Enforcement Memorial Fund, Oregon Concerns of Police Survivors (C.O.P.S.), Oregon Fallen Badge Foundation and other state law enforcement agencies.

The annual service comes a week ahead of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Ceremony in Washington, D.C., where 21,541 law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty will be honored.

For more information on the Oregon Fallen Law Enforcement Officer Memorial, visit: http://www.oregon.gov/DPSST/AT/pages/olememorial.aspx

Email Lauren Hernandez at lehernande@statesmanjournal.com, call 503-399-6743 or follow on Twitter @LaurenPorFavor


More photos and a short video of the ceremony on the Statesman Journal website.