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News / Clark County News

Clark County law enforcement memorial: ‘We can honor these heroes … with inspiration, determination’

Clark County Public Service Center packed full of lawmakers, families of fallen officers and men and women in uniform

By Sarah Wolf, Columbian staff writer
Published: May 22, 2024, 3:15pm
5 Photos
A person in the crowd looks over the program for the 2024 Clark County Law Enforcement Memorial Ceremony.
A person in the crowd looks over the program for the 2024 Clark County Law Enforcement Memorial Ceremony. (Amanda Cowan/The Columbian) Photo Gallery

Law enforcement officers in dress uniforms lined the hallway leading to the Clark County Law Enforcement Memorial Ceremony on Wednesday morning in Vancouver.

The honor guard entered a room in the Clark County Public Service Center packed full of lawmakers, families of fallen officers, and men and women in uniform.

Clark County Sheriff John Horch said he knew several of the fallen officers.

“They were inspirations to me when they were here, and they’re still an inspiration to me today,” Horch said.

The somber tone carried through the ceremony as guest speaker Jim Foote joined local leaders to honor Clark County’s fallen officers during the ceremony in downtown Vancouver.

9 Photos
Jill Brown, wife of slain Clark County Sheriff Sgt. Jeremy Brown, facing, honors the memory of her husband and others killed in the line of service at the 2024 Clark County Law Enforcement Memorial Ceremony at the Public Service Center on Wednesday morning, May 22, 2024.
2024 Clark County Law Enforcement Memorial Ceremony Photo Gallery

Foote’s father, a Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy, was killed in the line of duty nearly 50 years ago.

“While God didn’t call me to be in law enforcement, to wear that badge, I spent my life honoring my dad, not mourning his death,” said Foote, whose son, Trey, died of a rare form of cancer in 2006.

Foote said his father’s death gave him the courage to tackle an issue as important as fighting cancer. Following his son’s death, Foote created First Ascent Biomedical, a company focused on cancer treatment.

“I believe the best way we can honor these heroes is not with sadness but with inspiration, determination and dedication to living an impactful life like they did,” Foote said.

He said he found comfort knowing his father not only enjoyed his work but loved it.

“It is love that defines the essence of these fallen heroes,” Foote said. “It’s love that propels us forward in the face of danger, that drives us to stand firm in the moments of uncertainty and inspires them to make that ultimate sacrifice for the greater good.”

Clark County Councilor Michelle Belkot read a proclamation naming May 22, 2024, Clark County Peace Officers Memorial Day.

Clark County Sheriff’s Office Chaplain Cari Arnsparger led an invocation prayer.

The ceremony followed National Police Week and National Peace Officers Memorial Day, which were celebrated last week.

The ceremony also included a roll call of fallen officers and K-9s, a bell ceremony and benediction.

Attendees remembered Clark County Deputy Sheriff Wilfred Rorison, Clark County Sheriff Lester Wood, Special Agent Ballard Turner, Special Agent Ernest Vlasich, Washington State Trooper Don Campbell Jr., Clark County Deputy Sheriff Martin Sowders, Washington State Trooper James Gain, Clark County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Brad Crawford, Clark County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Jeremy Brown and Vancouver police Officer Donald Sahota. (The murder trial for the man accused in Sahota’s death was underway next door at the courthouse.)

It also honored five K-9s: Brie, Lucky, Dakota, Kane and Ike.

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