A memorial for Timothy Brenton sits at 29th and Yesler, near the location of his Halloween 2009 death. But he is just one of the 58 Seattle Police officers and 42 firefighters who have lost their lives in the line of duty, many of whom have no memorials in the city. But that may soon change, the Seattle Times reports:
The deaths of many officers would serve as lessons for the thousands of men and women who would follow them into the force — the details of their slayings sometimes used during police training — but their sacrifices have been largely lost to history.
Mike Severance, a veteran officer with nearly 44 years on the force, wants to change that.
Severance is seeking city approval for a plan to place a memorial sign at the closest intersection where each of 58 police officers and 42 firefighters lost their lives while on duty.
Both Severance and supportive Seattle Councilmember Tim Burgess are aware that the effort come at a time of increased public scrutiny of SPD, the Times continues:
Both Severance and Burgess understand the timing of the effort may strike some as odd, coming as the Seattle Police Department has come under criticism from community groups that claim some officers engage in unlawful use of force and biased policing. Last month, the U.S. Department of Justice found that Seattle police engaged in a pattern of excessive use of force and the department was deficient in its oversight of officers with regard to when and how they use force.
Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn has ordered Police Chief John Diaz to begin carrying out changes urged by the Department of Justice.
Nevertheless, Burgess said the memorial-sign project is an appropriate honor for officers.
The Times created a map showing the locations of officer deaths around the city. Click on the markers to learn more about each incident (Sources: Mike Severance, Seattle Police Department. Producer: Nikolaj Lasbo).
View Deaths in a larger map