Recognition for those who have died in the line of duty
StorySixteen members of the King County Sheriff’s Office have been killed in the line of duty since the department was established with the creation of the County in 1852. There is no memorial within the County honoring those deputies who died protecting their fellow citizens. A memorial for those fallen officers is a step closer to reality after the September 10 meeting of the Metropolitan King County Council’s Council’s Law, Justice, Health and Human Services Committee.
The committee adopted, and sent to the full County Council for action, a motion acknowledging receipt of a report containing a plan to establish a memorial inside the County 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.
“Creating this memorial is long overdue,” said Councilmember Reagan Dunn, the prime sponsor of the ordinance. “I am so pleased that we have been able to come up with a plan that will finally recognize these hero’s that gave the ultimate sacrifice on behalf the communities they served.”
“I’m so glad that the process of creating the King County Sheriff’s Deputy Memorial continues to move forward,” said Councilmember Kathy Lambert, Chair of the Law, Justice, Health and Human Services Committee. “It is such a meaningful project and those deputies who have fallen in the line of duty are worthy of continual recognition by the County.”
“The deputies in the King County Sheriff’s Office are some of the finest men and women I have ever known,” said King County Sheriff John Urquhart. “The memorial being proposed is a fitting tribute to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty.”
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 sixteen 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, with strong support from the cities of Covington, Maple Valley and Newcastle, 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 ordinance included where the memorial will be located, a method to solicit designs for the display, and the proposed schedule, budget and potential funding sources for its construction.
The motion adopted by the committee 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.
The motion will now go to the full County Council for final action.