Vancouver Police Department provides statement on death of Officer Donald Sahota

Memorial Service to be held Tuesday (Feb. 8) at 1 p.m. at ilani Casino Resort

VANCOUVER – On Saturday (Jan. 29) Vancouver Police Officer Donald Sahota was killed while off duty at his home but was acting within his authority as a police officer at the time of his death. Since his death, the Vancouver Police Department has been working with Officer Sahota’s family, with assistance from the Behind the Badge Foundation, to plan for a memorial service to honor and respect Officer Sahota and his life. 

Vancouver Police Officer Donald Sahota
Vancouver Police Officer Donald Sahota

This is the first line of duty death for the Vancouver Police Department since the department was established in 1883. 

“Over the past few days, I have been in many conversations with Sheriff (Chuck) Atkins and I know that he and his people are also hurting,” said Vancouver Police Chief James McElvain. “The circumstances around the death of Officer Sahota have, of course, been extremely painful and emotional for our department, as well as the greater law enforcement community in our area, including for those at the Gresham Police Department and the Port of Portland Police Department where Officer Sahota worked prior to joining the Vancouver Police Department”. 

As part of the planning process for Officer Sahota’s memorial service, a team has been assigned as liaisons to Officer Sahota’s family and I want to share statements from both Don’s wife and kids and Don’s mother. 

The following is a statement from Officer Sahota’s wife and kids: “While police officers are heroes, they are also human.  Being a law enforcement family, we understand that this is one of the hardest jobs in the world, often involving split-second decisions that mean life or death.  We would like everyone to know that we hold no ill feelings toward the Clark County Sheriff’s Office, or the deputy involved in this tragedy, and hope others can show them grace as well.  The fact remains that one person is ultimately responsible for the death of Officer Donald Sahota — the suspect in custody.  If this individual hadn’t made poor decision after poor decision, and ended up inside our home, we wouldn’t be where we are now.” 

This is the statement Sahota’s mother would like to share: “Don was really just a great man. Honest, kind, loved to help people. He was a great son, wonderful father and husband. He loved his job and loved serving his community.”

The memorial service for Officer Sahota will be held Tuesday (Feb. 8) at 1:00 p.m., at ilani Casino Resort (1 Cowlitz Way, Ridgefield WA). Specifics will be sent out in a separate communication, which will include COVID guidelines and procedures that will need to be adhered to.

A bank account has been set up for monetary donations for the Sahota family. Anyone wishing to make a donation can visit a Chase bank branch to donate to the Officer Sahota Memorial Fund.  

Cards or letters can be mailed to:

Vancouver Police HQ

605 E Evergreen Blvd.

Vancouver, WA 98661

Cards or letters to the Sahota family sent to the Vancouver Police Department will be forwarded to them. 

Officer Sahota’s memorial vehicle will be parked at the VPD Headquarters through Monday and will be moved to the Memorial Service site on Tuesday. 

Additional information on the memorial service will be provided as soon as it is available.

Information provided by Vancouver Police Department.

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