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 deputies 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.”
“Honoring our deputies who have died in the line of duty is so important. As the daughter of a retired police officer, I know how hard officers work and their dedication to making our communities safe,” said Councilmember Kathy Lambert, chair of the Council’s Law, Justice and Human Services Committee. “When tragedy hits, we all suffer their loss and it’s very fitting that we create a place of honor in remembrance.”
“It is fitting that we are finally looking at establishing a memorial in the County where these men gave their lives protecting the public,” said Council Chair Larry Gossett. “I look forward to see the recommendations on where we should site this monument to these heroes.”
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.
“Honoring the legacy of the fine Sheriff’s deputies who have given their lives to protect the public reminds us of the important service these brave men and women provide,” said Councilmember Larry Phillips. “We thank Sheriff’s deputies for their service, in particular those fifteen who died in the line of duty.”
“Our law enforcement officers put their lives on the line in service to others every day,” said Councilmember Pete von Reichbauer. “This memorial will serve as a reminder of the ultimate sacrifice made by many officers and as a place of reflection for their families.”
“I am pleased to support the creation of a permanent memorial honoring our County’s fallen deputies,” said Councilmember Rod Dembowski. “I recall attending the memorial service for Deputy Sam Hicks in 1982 in Renton and am pleased that King County is going to formally and properly honor all of our county’s deputies who have made the ultimate sacrifice.”
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.
For more information on the 15 King County Sheriff Deputies killed in the line of duty, go to: www.kingcounty.gov/safety/sheriff/About/Remembrance.aspx