REMARKS AS PREPARED
Governor Kate Brown
Oregon Fallen Officer Memorial
Tuesday, May 7, 2019
It is my honor to be with you today as the state of Oregon honors and recognizes 187 law enforcement officers who made the ultimate sacrifice while serving our great state as law enforcement, corrections, and parole and probation officers.
I extend my gratitude to all of the law enforcement professionals from city, county, state, tribal, and federal agencies who are with us today. Your dedicated service to our state is not taken for granted and is greatly appreciated. I’d also like to acknowledge our legislators and elected officials from around the state who are here today.
I also extend a special welcome to the families, friends, and colleagues of those we honor today. We know that there are no words that can restore your loss — but know that the legacies of each officer will not be forgotten.
As we reflect on the service and sacrifice of our fallen officers and their families, I ask you look to your right and up the driveway. A United States flag is placed there to honor each of our state's fallen. One hundred eighty-seven flags. Each of them tells a story. They tell the story of an officer, his or her legacy, the incident, the family left behind, and the rich history of the Oregon law enforcement community.
Today we're here to tell and remember the stories of four Oregon law enforcement officers who made the ultimate sacrifice.
Among them is Ashland Police Officer Malcus Williams, who died on March 2 last year while serving in the line of duty.
In uniform, Officer Williams put the safety and wellbeing of others ahead of his own. While pursuing a call, he began to show symptoms of a heart attack, but did not seek medical treatment in order to complete a call. He collapsed on the next one.
Officer Williams served with the Ashland Police Department for 22 years. He is survived by his wife, three daughters, and two sisters.
Today, we also honor officers we lost in years past, from Bend Police and Multnomah County.
Their communities came together to comfort the families of these brave men while heartfelt condolences poured in from across the state.
It is my sincere hope that no additional names are added to this memorial next year — or any year hence. The losses suffered are reminders of the dangers faced by the Oregon men and women who take an oath to serve and protect.
On behalf of all Oregonians, I thank the families of the fallen who are here today. We will never forget your loved ones' dedication. We will gather here each year to honor their service.
It is now my great pleasure to introduce our keynote speaker, Andy Olson.
Andy has served our state with pride and distinction for more than four decades. He spent thirty years with the Oregon State Police, and then forfeited a well-earned retirement to join the Oregon House of Representatives.
He is proud of his service on our historic transportation package. But perhaps his proudest work was sponsoring legislation which remembers our fallen law enforcement in signs posted along our state’s highways. He also worked to ensure that the families of our fallen officers have access to a college education.
In total, Andy has devoted almost forty-four years to public service. He is now enjoying a well-deserved retirement with his wife.
Please join me in welcoming him.