Honoring law enforcement during National Police Week
StoryThe Metropolitan King County Council and the Mayors of Maple Valley and Covington—who contract with the King County Sheriff’s Office for law enforcement services—today joined municipalities across the country in recognizing National Police Week, which takes place from May 12–18. National Police Week recognizes those men and women of law enforcement who have fallen in the line of duty.
“It is an honor to take part in this recognition and pay tribute our fallen heroes,” said Councilmember Reagan Dunn, the sponsor of the proclamation. “The men and women of law enforcement deserve our utmost respect and gratitude for all they do.”
“Just last week, the public was reminded about the dangerous nature of police work,” said Sheriff John Urquhart referring to the recent shooting in Skyway with deputies present. “My deputies and I recognize and honor with the utmost respect those who have fallen in the line of duty.”
In March, the Hicks – Raburn King County Sheriff’s Office Precinct was re-opened just outside Maple Valley. Prior to the re-opening the City of Covington’s City Hall graciously served as the Sheriff’s Office base Southeast King County location. The newly re-opened precinct is named after two heroes who died in the line of duty: Sergeant Samuel Hicks killed in June of 1982 and Detective Michael Raburn who died in March of 1984. This precinct is not only a valuable community resource and asset to the Sheriff’s Office but also a working memorial to those two men who lost their lives protecting and serving others.
“The Hicks-Raburn precinct is a personal reminder for those of us living in Maple Valley of what each man and woman who decides to wear the badge of a police officer puts on the line every single day,” said Maple Valley Mayor Bill Allison. “It is with the deepest heartfelt gratitude that we take this week to remember the lives of those who gave all they had for our well-being.”
“The King County Sheriff's Office has served the Covington area for more than 160 years. We admire the dedicated professionals who keep our county and city safe every day, and we proudly remember those officers and their families who made the ultimate sacrifice on our behalf,” said Covington Mayor Margaret Harto.
Police Week was created in 1962 when President John F. Kennedy signed a proclamation designating May 15 as Peace Officers Memorial Day and the week in which that date falls as Police Week. Currently, tens of thousands of law enforcement officers from around the world converge on Washington, DC to participate in a number of planned events which honor those that have paid the ultimate sacrifice.
King County is home to nearly 3,100 commissioned law enforcement personnel who serve and protect the residents and businesses of 39 cities, the Port of Seattle, three Tribal governments, the University of Washington and the 250,000 residents of unincorporated King County.
In 1853, Deputy Wesley Cherry was the first recorded law enforcement death in King County. A total of 95 King County based law enforcement personnel have made the ultimate sacrifice, with 16 of these officers being members of the King County Sheriff’s Office.
There are approximately 900,000 law enforcement officers serving in communities across the United States. The first recorded death took place in 1791, and since that time almost 20,000 law enforcement officers in the United States have died in the line of duty.
As part of the yearly celebration of Police Week, the names of officers lost in the line of duty are added to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, D.C.
This year, two officers from Washington State will be added to the memorial: Washington State Patrol member Sean O’Connell, Jr and Deputy James Franklin Chatfield of the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office who passed away in 1921. Patrolman O’Connell’s name was also added to the Washington State Law Enforcement Memorial in Olympia on May 2.
In 2013 the Metropolitan King County Council unanimously passed legislation to study the creation of a King County Sheriff’s Office memorial. The memorial is now in the planning stages and a design is being chosen for eventual installation in the King County Courthouse.