Recognition for those who have died in the line of duty
Fifteen 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 men who died protecting their fellow citizens. Today the Metropolitan King County Council gave its unanimous support to a study that will look at creating a memorial to recognize fallen deputies within the King County Courthouse.
“Memorializing the members of the King County Sheriff’s Office that have given the ultimate sacrifice to protect their communities is long overdue,” said Councilmember Reagan Dunn, the prime sponsor of the ordinance. “I look forward to working with Sheriff Urquhart and the King County Police Officers Guild to ensure that these 15 heroes are never forgotten and that this memorial becomes a reality.”
The measure has received strong support from the city of Newcastle, which sent a letter to the Council last month urging full Council support. Newcastle was the site of tragedy when Deputy Richard Herzog lost his life protecting that community in 2002.
“The city of Newcastle will never forget the sacrifice of Deputy Richard Herzog who lost his life while protecting the public in 2002,” said Newcastle Mayor Rich Crispo. “This proposed memorial is another example of our shared conviction that Deputy Herzog and his fellow 14 members of the King County’s Sheriff’s Office killed in the line of duty will never be forgotten.”
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 fifteen 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.
The adopted ordinance calls 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 proposal should include 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 proposed ordinance calls for the Executive and Sheriff to submit their proposal to the County Council by June 1.