Recognition for those who have died in the line of duty
The King County Council today accepted a report detailing how King County will establish a memorial recognizing the 16 members of the King County Sheriff’s Office who have been killed in the line of duty since the department was established in 1852.
“Creating this memorial to honor our fallen members of the Sheriff’s Department is the right thing to do,” said Councilmember Reagan Dunn, the prime sponsor of the ordinance. “These 16 heroes gave the ultimate sacrifice on behalf of the residents of King County and I’m very thankful this memorial is one step closer to being built.”
“The proposed memorial will be a fitting tribute to those in the Sheriff’s Office who have lost their lives in the line of duty,” said Sheriff John Urquhart. “I thank Councilmembers Dunn and Lambert, and the entire King County Council for working together to make this happen.”
“This memorial to our fallen deputies is a wonderful and important tribute and I’m very glad to be part of the process to honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice on behalf of the citizens of King County,” said Councilmember Kathy Lambert, Chair of the Law, Justice, Health and Human Services Committee. “The planning is moving forward to allow for construction of the memorial.”
“It is extremely important for us to honor those courageous King County Sheriff’s Deputies who literally gave their lives in pursuit of public safety throughout our county’s long history,” said Council Chair Larry Gossett. “A permanent memorial dedicated to these fallen officers will be an important remembrance of their ultimate sacrifice, and that of their families.”
The Sheriff's Office is King County’s first and longest serving law enforcement agency. The first sheriff deputy killed in the line of duty was in 1853, the most recent was in 2006. All 16 deputies are recognized both in Washington, D.C. as part of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial and in Olympia, where they are listed on the Washington State Law Enforcement Memorial. But there is no memorial in the county where the deputies lost their lives.
Last April, the Council adopted legislation calling on the Executive and the King County Sheriff to develop a proposal for the creation of a memorial recognizing fallen King County Sheriff deputies within the Courthouse. The plan directs the Sheriff’s Office to work with the County’s Facilities Management Division (FMD) to submit an image for the final design of the memorial for council approval.
“It is fitting to honor these 16 deputies who made the ultimate sacrifice in the protection of our King County citizens,” said Councilmember Jane Hague. “I sincerely hope that this memorial will provide some measure of comfort to the families and friends they left behind, as well as honoring the example they set for future generations.”
“Day in and day out King County law enforcement officers risk their personal safety to protect the larger community,” said Councilmember Julia Patterson, Vice Chair of the King County Council. “We are grateful for the brave actions of our law enforcement personnel, and I’m glad that there will soon be a memorial in King County to honor those that have lost their lives while serving the public.”
In recent months, to further highlight the sacrifice of these brave individuals and further display the need for such a memorial, Councilmember Dunn has been tweeting from @KCCReaganDunn information about the fallen on the anniversary of their last watch. This past weekend marked the 59th anniversary of the death of Deputy Donald A. Armeni, who was shot and killed on September 15, 1954 while serving a warrant.
The adopted motion acknowledges receipt of the report containing a plan to establish a memorial inside the County Courthouse. It details the design (granite or marble backdrop with glass plaques) and location (within the King County Courthouse and visible to those entering and exiting Courthouse) agreed to by the Sheriff’s Office and FMD. The motion also addresses the time needed for construction and the funding for the memorial.