Multiple Law Enforcement agencies gather in Vancouver to recognize their fellow officers who died in the line of duty
VANCOUVER — Law enforcement officials from all over the region, along with family, friends, community leaders, and media, gathered at downtown Vancouver’s Public Service Center Thursday to honor those that paid the ultimate price.
The 2019 Clark County Law Enforcement Memorial Ceremony honored the eight officers and five K-9 dogs that have been killed in Clark County since 1922. Also recognized and honored were the two officers killed in Washington state last year.
After solem opening remarks by Clark County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) Commander Phil Sample, the Portland Highland Guard and the Multi-Agency Color Guard posted the colors. The national anthem was performed by Vancouver Police Department’s Officer Rey Reynolds.
“The event today is very symbolic of honoring those that have made the ultimate sacrifice,” Sample said. “Sometimes people don’t remember or they forget that, we do work these jobs in official capacities, but we’re regular people also; husbands, wives, family members. This is our way, today, to give back and thank those that keep the community safe.”
Pastor Chris Kainu of Vancouver Church delivered the invocation, followed by the proclamation by Clark County Councilor Temple Lentz. The guest speaker, the Honorable Daniel Stahnke from the Clark County Superior Court, spoke on the importance of honoring each and every officer and K-9 lost in line of service.
“The society we have built will always be threatened by people who scheme to exploit the innocent, and to visit violence on the weak,” Stahnke said. “We need our police officers because life without them would be unbearable.”
After the call of honor for each group of fallen officers and K-9’s, “Amazing Grace” on the bagpipes echoed through downtown as the main American flag was raised to half-staff.
Retired Clark County Sheriff’s Office Chief Mike Evans closed the ceremony with “Taps,” before the benediction by Pastor Kainu.
Nationwide, there were 163 law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty in 2018.
“Today is a very special day, and we hold it deep to our heart,” Sample said. “So on behalf of Sheriff Chuck Atkins, thank you very much for coming today and being part of our ceremony.”
Below is the complete list of officers and K9 honored:
Clark County, Fallen Officers:
Deputy Sheriff Wilfred E. Rorison, CCSO — 1922
Sheriff Lester M. Wood, CCSO — 1927
Special Agent Ballard W. Turner, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms — 1932
Special Agent Ernest B. Vlasich, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms — 1932
Trooper Don R. Campbell Jr., Washington State Patrol — 1951
Deputy Sheriff Martin S. Sowders, CCSO — 1976
Trooper James S. Gain, Washington State Patrol — 1987
Sergeant Brad Crawford, CCSO — 2004
Clark County, Fallen K-9:
K9 Brie, CCSO, Handler, Deputy Sheriff Dennis Meats – 1987
K9 Lucky, CCSO, Handler, Deputy Sheriff Tom Mitchum – 1990
K9 Dakota, Vancouver Police Department, Handler, Officer Roger Evans – 2007
K9 Kane, CCSO Handler, Deputy Sheriff Rick Osborne – 2011
K9 Ike, Vancouver Police Department, Handler, Detective Jack Anderson – 2015
Washington State Fallen Officers, 2018:
Deputy Sheriff Daniel Alexander McCartney, Pierce County Sheriff’s Department
Police Officer Diego Moreno, Kent Police Department