Times: Signs would honor fallen police officers and firefighters (+ map of deaths)

A memorial for Timothy Brenton

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

14 thoughts on “Times: Signs would honor fallen police officers and firefighters (+ map of deaths)

  1. Although I’m in favor of a memorial to fallen police officers, I think having a memorial at the site sends an odd message. I mean, look at that map. It’s like a CD free fire zone. You don’t want to live here, this is where cops get killed. Sad, true, but do we need to advertise it?

  2. @ Richard Wells

    “It’s like a CD free fire zone.”

    What the hell are you talking about? Did you look at the map? Three cops have been shot and killed in the CD in the last 150 years. Barely. One in the last 62 years, and that was in Madrona. So one cop in 1949 and one in 1898. A “free fire zone.”

  3. my bad:

    “One in the last 62 years, and that was in Leschi.”

    If Leschi wants to be classified as the CD, I’m cool with that.

  4. Blame it on my map reading skills, and I’ll retract my “free fire zone” comment, but even if we just look at Atlantic to Madison, and Leschi to Boren, that’s an awful lot of pins in the map. Anyway, do we really want people walking around Seattle going, “Oh, look, another one?” Still think it’s a bad idea. I like the firefighters’ memorial down by Pioneer Square, how about a fallen officer memorial in front of the police station?

  5. In 1898 much of what is now Seattle wasn’t incorporated and law Seattle’s law enforcement was not overseeing it. Most of the CD was a part of the original Seattle and therefore has more of the unfortunate historical sites for Seattle Police. That is also true for the downtown area. Some of these areas, especially downtown were more densely populated than others.

  6. In a time of severe budget issues – the money should be spent on hiring, not memorials…

  7. Agreed.

    If they make a memorial it should be at the down town police headquarters, but if it is a private organization doing this they can put it where they want after getting city approval. Unfortunately if they are spread all over the CD they might end up with circle ‘a’s and “F-CK capitolism u gentrifires” poorly scrawled on them.

  8. We should mark all the shooting locations so that people will see the aggregate of the situation. How much shooting is going on. We can make better signage that honors the good guys. But also let’s have little crossbones and a plaque describing the dirtbag life of some of these guys, as well as updating with info on the demise of the shooter.

  9. Crossbones are way too cool, an honor really, how about a bronzed dog turd to truly represent the lives of these miscreants.

  10. Stop arguing about what your idea of “the CD” is or is not. I grew up in the CD, been here 50 years, and Brenton’s killing was indeed in the CD. In the 80′s the CD was thought to start at the Montlake bridge and go all the way to Rainier. In the 60′s it covered everything from 1 block off the lake to about 19th going east/west. Generally the CD, or “the seedy,” or “Coon holler” as it all was known over the years was that containment zone in which the most crime occurred. I never even heard of “madison valley” as a neighborhood until it became a hot place to buy in the 80′s. Stop bickering over Brenton was killed in Leschi or the Cd. Go stand where he was killed. It is for sure the CD. Good lord, y’all.