Sheriff’s Office holds Memorial Service in Hazelwood neighborhood

See this moving ceremony, held at the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office Ernest C. Loll Memorial

The Color Guard approaches, as the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office Memorial Service begins.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

As is its custom, in the second week of May, the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) held an annual Memorial Service.

“This is a ceremony honoring our staff who have died in the line of duty,” explained Multnomah County Sheriff Daniel Staton before the service began.

Members of the Color Guard salute the flying American Flag.

Multnomah County Sheriff Daniel Staton is greeted by Portland Mayor Charile Hales.

For the first time since we’ve covered the memorial service, a Portland mayor was there.

“It’s important that we show solidarity with the people that do law enforcement work,” remarked Portland Mayor Charlie Hales. “The Sheriff’s Office is really important to our city. The Sheriff and his staff are friends of good government and smart law enforcement in this city and in this county. It is my pleasure to be here today.”

Deputy Jonelle Oiszewski ably sings a stirring rendition of the “National Anthem”.

Chief Deputy Mike Schults offered opening remarks saying, in part, “This ceremony is really important to those working in law enforcement, corrections, and all public safety. We take risks and suffer inconvenience is to protect the lives of those we serve.

“We defend civil liberties and secure the safety of fellow citizens,” Schults continued. “We endure these risks and tolerate such inconveniences on behalf of strangers. I don’t know any more noble and selfless occupation in our society.”

Schults paused, then added, “But, our work comes at a cost. In the audience today, there are people who feel it every day.”

Multnomah County Sheriff Daniel Staton addresses the gathering.

“At this time, we honor and remember the sacrifices, especially to the families,” Staton told East Portland News.

“This is not an easy job. If law enforcement is not here doing the job, what’s left?” rhetorically asked Staton. “You have fear, chaos, and bad things going on. Everybody who is in uniform here today is dedicated to the job of serving the community.

“And, interestingly, when you listen to our deputies, they talk about their neighborhoods,” Staton added. “They live here; they care about our neighborhoods right here in outer East Portland, and throughout the County.”

Members of the Honor Guard bring a wreath to the Ernest C. Loll Memorial.

Members of the Sheriff’s Office placed a wreath by the obelisk, known as the Ernest C. Loll Memorial that stands outside the front door of their office building in the Hazelwood neighborhood.

Jim Whitehead, the father of Reserve Deputy Sheriff Mark Alan Whitehead, who was killed on February 26, 1993, by a drunk driver on I-84, just east of NE 181st Street, places a commutative ribbon on the ceremonial staff.

Next, Undersheriff Tim Moore presented “The Reading of the Roll” – the list of their fallen comrades. With each name read, a ribbon honoring the fallen officer was placed on a staff.

The Color Guard performs the “Folding of the Flag”, making it ready for presentation.

Members of the Honor Guard give the fallen law enforcement officers a “21 Gun Salute”.

A bagpiper played Amazing Grace and Captain Derrick Peterson sang God Bless America. MCSO Undersheriff Tim Moore provided closing remarks, ending the service.

East Portland News salutes all of our current, and fallen, law enforcement officers, in all agencies.

© 2015 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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