King County unveils memorial for fallen Sheriff’s Office deputies

Sixteen members of the King County Sheriff’s Office have lost their lives in the line of duty.

Sixteen members of the King County Sheriff’s Office have lost their lives in the line of duty.

King County Sheriff John Urquhart and King County Council Vice Chair Reagan Dunn were joined on Friday by the family and friends of those who have fallen to dedicate a memorial honoring those deputies who made the ultimate sacrifice.

“This memorial has been an important project for me over the years and I am proud to be able to unveil it today,” said Urquhart in a media release. “This memorial will serve as a reminder to the public of those who serve them every day and those who have served and sacrificed for them.”

The memorial sits just outside of the Sheriff’s Office on the first floor of the King County Courthouse in Seattle.

“It has been an honor assisting the Sheriff’s Office on this project,” Dunn said. “We cannot thank our officers enough for the work they do putting their lives on the line in order to protect and serve the people. This memorial honors these specific officers but also reminds the public of all of all who have fallen in the line of duty this year.”

The first of the 16 deputies killed in the line of duty was Wesley Cherry in 1854. Friday marked the 10th anniversary of King County’s last deputy killed in action. In 2006, Steve Cox was fatally wounded after responding to gunshots at a house party in White Center.

The memorial for Cherry, Cox and the other 14 deputies is a symbol of the more than 160 years of dedication and priceless sacrifice that the Sheriff’s Office has given to King County.

The ceremony began with Chaplain Joel Ingbretson leading a moment of silence and ended with more than 40 family members of the fallen deputies escorted by an honor guard to the site of the memorial.

“We had no way of knowing that today, while honoring the sacrifice of our fallen King County Sheriff officers we would be joining the rest of Washington State in mourning the fallen Tacoma Police officer who was killed Wednesday night,” said Dunn. “I hope this memorial serves as a reminder of their work and as a way to honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.”