Clark County Sheriff Chuck Atkins promoted slain Detective Jeremy Brown to honorary sergeant at a press conference Monday morning remembering Brown’s life and career.
“I know how much he wanted that,” Atkins said, recalling conversations he had with Brown, 46, about his career ambitions at the sheriff’s office.
Atkins described Brown’s “quick smile” and how he prioritized his family, faith and friends, in addition to the job. He called Brown “a man I so admired.”
Brown — a 15-year veteran of the sheriff’s office and detective with the Clark-Vancouver Drug Task Force — was fatally shot Friday evening while conducting surveillance on a group of people at an east Vancouver apartment complex.
He is survived by five adult children and wife, Jill, according to sheriff’s spokesman Sgt. Brent Waddell.
“I’d like to say to Jeremy’s family how sorry I am that this happened. I can only imagine what you’re going through, and I pray for each of you and that you have the support of those you love to help get you through this difficult time. Because this is going to go on for a lifetime. This isn’t something that goes away,” Atkins said.
Brown had been with the regional drug task force since 2017. He previously worked as a corrections deputy and patrol deputy with the sheriff’s office. Before that, he served with the Washington State Department of Corrections and as a reserve officer with the Missoula County Sheriff’s Office in Montana. He was a military police officer in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1993 to 1995.
“For those that worked with Jeremy and knew him and his other family, the Clark County Sheriff’s Office, I am heartbroken for the impact that this has had on you individually,” Atkins said.
He thanked the law enforcement agencies that have shared condolences and covered for the sheriff’s office as it helps Brown’s family and also grieves.
He said the fact that the prime suspect in Brown’s shooting was arrested Sunday in Salem, Ore., gives the sheriff’s office some “comfort” and “resolve” Monday.
Atkins also expressed gratitude for the outpouring of support from the community.
The state organization Behind the Badge Foundation will be organizing a memorial for Brown, in accordance with his family’s wishes, Atkins said.
Late Monday afternoon, Vancouver Mayor Anne McEnerny-Ogle issued a statement on Brown’s line-of-duty death:
“Jeremy was a valued member of our law enforcement community that works around the clock to make Vancouver safer. He was also a father, son, husband and friend. His life was taken tragically, and the deep loss felt by so many defies words. We hope the caring and compassion in our hearts provides some comfort to those closest to him, and that the apprehension of all suspects over the weekend gives us some confidence in justice.
“These are challenging times for the law enforcement profession in communities across our nation and here at home. The city council and I are grateful for and respect the work of officers in our community, and especially recognize the impact of both the work and the death of Detective Sgt. Jeremy Brown.”
People can donate to the Clark County Sheriff’s Office Brown Family Memorial Fund at any branch of IQ Credit Union: routing number, 323383378; account number, 800006978226
Officers killed in the line of duty
Nine local law enforcement officers have died in the line of duty since 1922, according to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund and Columbian archives.
July 23, 2021: Detective Jeremy Brown, Clark County Sheriff’s Office. Brown was shot in his vehicle while conducting surveillance at an east Vancouver apartment complex. The shooting investigation is ongoing.
July 30, 2004: Sgt. Brad Crawford, Clark County Sheriff’s Office. Crawford was killed when his unmarked patrol car was intentionally rammed by a pickup whose driver was fleeing a domestic disturbance at his home.
March 2, 1987: Trooper James S. Gain, Washington State Patrol. Gain died just after he had stopped a motorist for speeding on Interstate 5 near Salmon Creek. He was standing on the shoulder when a truck hit him.
Nov. 18, 1976: Deputy Martin Sowders, Clark County Sheriff’s Office. Sowders was accidentally shot and killed by another deputy during a shootout with a suspect wanted for robbing a pharmacy.
Dec. 21, 1951: Trooper Don R. Campbell Jr., Washington State Patrol. Campbell was struck by a vehicle while directing traffic.
Sept. 29, 1932: Special Agent Ballard W. Turner, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. Turner was shot while raiding a still in Vancouver.
Oct. 15, 1932: Special Agent Ernest B. Vlasich, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. Vlasich was shot by a suspect in Vancouver while attempting an arrest.
May 22, 1927: Clark County Sheriff Lester Wood. The newly elected sheriff and some of his deputies were searching for a still near Yacolt when Wood was confronted by a gunman. He rounded a bend and was shot and killed.
Aug. 7, 1922: Deputy Wilfred E. Rorison, Clark County Sheriff’s Office. Rorison was killed during a raid on a moonshine still when he and two prohibition agents were met by gunfire.