OLYMPIA – Attorney General Rob McKenna strongly encourages citizens to attend this year’s Washington State Law Enforcement Medal of Honor Ceremony.
“This ceremony is a very special opportunity to honor those officers who have sacrificed their lives in the line of duty and those who have distinguished themselves by extraordinary conduct,” said McKenna. “It’s also a chance to recognize and thank all officers who continue, at great risk and peril, to protect those they serve, as well as their families, who sacrifice so much for the safety of our communities.”
Since 1855, over 280 law enforcement officers have been killed in the line of duty in the state of Washington.
In 1994, the Washington Legislature passed RCW 41.72 establishing the Law Enforcement Medal of Honor. This honor is reserved for those police officers who have been killed in the line of duty or have distinguished themselves by exceptional meritorious conduct.
This year’s ceremony will take place Friday, May 6, 2005, at St. Martin’s College Pavilion, commencing at 1:00 p.m. The ceremony is open to the public and there will be a catered reception for all who are in attendance.
General McKenna will award four law enforcement officers, two posthumously, with the Washington State’s Law Enforcement Medal of Honor, the state’s highest award. This honor is bestowed upon officers who have made the ultimate sacrifice or have displayed exceptionally meritorious conduct.
This year’s recipients are:
- Sergeant Bradley W. Crawford, Clark County Sheriff’s Office
Sergeant Crawford was killed when a suspect deliberately drove his vehicle into Sergeant Crawford’s parked patrol vehicle. Sergeant Crawford sustained massive injuries from the impact and died later that evening.
- Officer James G. Lewis, Tacoma Police Department
Officer Lewis was responding on his police motorcycle to assist another officer in pursuit of a homicide suspect, when a vehicle made a left turn in front of Officer Lewis. His motorcycle struck the driver’s door of the vehicle and he was ejected, suffering fatal injuries.
- Officer Michael T. McDonald
Officer Richard Pruitt, Seattle Police Department
On March 17, 2004, Officers McDonald and Pruitt responded to a shooting call at Miller Community Center, a temporary emergency shelter for residents from a recent apartment complex fire. Upon arrival, they located the body of a victim – the suspect’s girlfriend – just outside the center doors. In a courageous and selfless act, they entered the building. When the suspect pointed his gun at Officer McDonald, the officer shot him. These officers truly put themselves in harm’s way to protect innocent people and the citizens of Seattle.
“I encourage all citizens of Washington to attend this important event,” said McKenna, “to honor the men and women who risk their lives every day to keep the communities of our state safe places to live and work.”
For more information contact:
Media Relations Director, (360) 586-0725