Friday, June 5, 2020

State to honor fallen law enforcement heroes

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The State of Oregon will honor and remember 187 fallen law enforcement officers and the families they left behind during an hour-long memorial ceremony at 1 p.m. Tuesday, May 7, in Salem.

The event will take place outdoors, rain or shine, at the state memorial which is located at the Oregon Public Safety Academy, 4190 Aumsville Highway SE, in Salem.

The names of four fallen Oregon law enforcement officers have been approved for addition to the state memorial during this year’s ceremony by the Board on Public Safety Standards and Training.

Ashland Police Officer Malcus Williams, Bend Police Sgt. John Lawrence, and two Multnomah County Sheriff’s Deputies who were seriously injured in the line of duty and retired as a result of their injuries. Both of these Deputies are being added under the historic recognition program which allows fallen officers from previous years to be honored on the memorial after careful review and approval.

The Oregon Fallen Law Enforcement Officers’ Memorial Ceremony is a significant event that the Department of Public Safety Standards and Training (DPSST) is proud to host each year in partnership with the Oregon Law Enforcement Memorial Fund, Oregon Concerns of Police Survivors (C.O.P.S.), Oregon Fallen Badge Foundation, and Oregon’s various statewide law enforcement associations.

The memorial honors 187 fallen Oregon law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty since the 1880s. This includes 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.

The Oregon memorial is held the week ahead of National Police Week events in Washington, D.C. so that family members and co-workers can attend both memorial ceremonies.

During the national ceremony, the names of 371 fallen law enforcement officers will be added — 158 of which are the names of officers we lost in the line of duty last year. A total of 213 officers fell in years prior who are now being recognized. This will bring the number of officers honored on the national memorial to more than 21,000 law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty.

Background on the names being added to the Oregon Fallen Law Enforcement Officer Memorial in 2019:

On Friday March 2, 2018, at approximately 7:25 p.m., Officer Malcus Williams suffered a major medical event while on duty and on the scene of a call. Other officers who were on scene rendered aid and summoned expedited medical assistance from Ashland Fire and Rescue.

Paramedics arrived on scene and transported Officer Williams to Providence Hospital where the emergency department staff continued to work on him. Officer Williams passed away at approximately 9:00 p.m. Officer Williams is survived by his wife, Ona, and three daughters, Savannah, Georgia and Brooklyn, as well as his sisters Cindy and Amy, who is also a member of the Ashland Police Department. Officer Williams started his career with the Ashland Police Department on December 9, 1996.

On Thursday, December 4, 2014, Sergeant John Lawrence of the City of Bend Police Department suffered a fatal heart attack following his shift in which he responded to a bank holdup alarm.  He returned home after completing his shift but collapsed three hours later. He was transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead.  Sergeant Lawrence had served with the Bend Police Department for 10 years and had previously served with the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office for 4-1/2 years.  The Public Safety Officers’ Benefits Office, under the United States Department of Justice, determined that Sgt. Lawrence’s death was in the line of duty under the PSOB Act 42 United States Code 3796 as the heart attack occurred 24 hours after engaging in an on-duty situation.

On March 5, 1969, Deputy Robert Ray “Bobby” Anderson of the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office was shot by a suspect in his custody.  Deputy Anderson and his partner were transporting a person in crisis to the hospital when the person lunged over the seat in the patrol car and took control of Anderson’s partner’s service weapon.  The suspect shot both deputies and a civilian who was also in the vehicle accompanying the deputies.  Both deputies were hospitalized in critical condition.  Deputy Anderson was paralyzed as a result of the shooting and his health deteriorated until his death on December 1, 1994. Deputy Anderson was 49 years of age and served with the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office for six years.

On July 25, 1982, Deputy Sheriff Irving Burkett of the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office was shot during a jailbreak attempt from the Rocky Butte Jail. Deputy Burkett was shot by an inmate with a .22 sing-action handgun in the right side of his head. Inmates began the break out at approximately 10:15 pm.  The inmates had a gun inside the jail and through a series of hostages made their way to the control center section of the jail.  Deputy Burkett heroically attempted to alert the rest of the jail that there was an escape in progress and was shot.  Six individuals were sentenced to 25 years in prison after pleading guilty to four felonies. Deputy Burkett was severely and permanently debilitated as a direct result of injuries sustained in the shooting. Deputy Burkett died from his injuries on August 22, 2003.  At the time of the incident Deputy Burkett was 63 years of age and had served with the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office for 14 years.

The Oregon Law Enforcement Memorial Fund raised funds to build the state memorial more than 20 years ago and hosts the annual ceremony.  For more information on the Oregon Law Enforcement Memorial Fund and the statewide license plate that is available to honor fallen law enforcement officers and firefighters please visit
http://www.oregon.gov/DPSST/MF/pages/policememtrustfund.aspx

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

For more information about National Police Week, please visit www.LawMemorial.org/policeweek.

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This information was provided for dissemination to our readers and was edited to comply with Associated Press style and professional journalism standards by Homepage staff.

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