Tuesday afternoon, May 8, 2018, the State of Oregon honored and remembered 183 fallen law enforcement officers during an hour-long memorial ceremony held at the state memorial which is located at the Oregon Public Safety Academy in Salem.
More than 400 were in attendance at today's ceremony which included more than 80 family members of fallen officers. During her comments on behalf of Governor Kate Brown, Heidi Moawad, the Governor's Public Safety Policy Advisor said "Our law enforcement officers are not the only ones who sacrifice to make our protection and safety possible. The families of our officers live with the constant reality that their loved one may not return home safe from their heroic work. When a police officer, reserve officer, parole and probation officer, corrections officer dies or suffers severe disability, the heartbreak their families experience is incalculable. While we are here to honor our fallen officers, we cannot forget the families and children that have been left behind."
The keynote speaker for the ceremony was Clatsop County District Attorney Joshua K. Marquis. District Attorney Marquis has served for almost 25 years as the elected District Attorney of Clatsop County and has announced that he will not seek another term and will accordingly step down from this role in January 2019. District Attorney Marquis said "we can never forget the importance of remembering those who made the ultimate sacrifice, by name. We need to share their stories, we need to share who there were, we need their families to hear their names for all to hear so we never forget."
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 183 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.
While the recent line of duty death of Ashland Police Officer Marcus Williams was included in comments made by a number speakers, the name was not added during this year’s ceremony. The nomination to add Officer Williams’ name is underway with addition planned during the 2019 ceremony. It is the custom of the state and national memorials to not add names during the year of the incident to give family, co-workers, and community members a chance to heal from the loss.
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, 360 names will be added to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial, bringing the total to 21,541 law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty. For more information about National Police Week, please visit www.LawMemorial.org/policeweek.