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SALEM, Ore. — A little more than a year ago, Ashland Police Officer Malcus Williams died in the line of duty after suffering a major medical event. Now his name has joined those of other fallen law enforcement officers on the wall of the Fallen Law Enforcement Memorial at the Oregon Public Safety Academy in Salem.
"The memorial honors all of the state's fallen city, county, state, tribal and federal officers. During this year's ceremony the names of four of Oregon's fallen will be added to a memorial that already has too many," said Erik Gabliks, Director of the Department of Public Safety Standards and Training (DPSST).
Alongside Officer Malcus Williams, the agency is set to honor Bend Police Sgt. John Lawrence, as well as Deputy Irving Burkett and Deputy Robert Ray “Bobby” Anderson — two Multnomah County deputies who were seriously injured in the line of duty and retired as a result of their injuries. They join 183 other law enforcement officers to have died in the line of duty since the 1880s.
On Wednesday, the City of Bend Police Department Honor Guard stood watch as the names of all four officers were engraved onto the memorial. The Memorial ceremony is set for Tuesday, May 7 at 1 p.m. at the academy in Salem.
"The State's memorial, and the annual ceremony, allows us to honor the fallen and the families and co-workers left behind," said Gabliks.
On the evening of March 2, 2018, Officer Malcus Williams suffered a "major medical event" while on duty and on the scene of a call. Other officers on the scene tried to keep him stable while paramedics responded. Officer Williams was rushed to Providence Hospital where the emergency department staff continued to work on him — however, he passed away later that night.
Officer Williams is survived by his wife, Ona, and three daughters, Savannah, Georgia and Brooklyn, as well as his sisters Cindy and Amy. Amy is also a member of the Ashland Police Department (APD). Officer Williams started his career with APD on December 9, 1996.
Williams was posthumously awarded the Medal of Ultimate Sacrifice, presented to his family during a celebration of his life in Ashland last year.
See below for information on the other officers to be honored this year, as related by DPSST:
On Thursday, December 4, 2014, Sergeant John Lawrence of the City of Bend Police Department suffered a fatal heart attack following his shift in which he responded to a bank holdup alarm. He returned home after completing his shift but collapsed three hours later. He was transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead. Sergeant Lawrence had served with the Bend Police Department for 10 years and had previously served with the Deschutes County Sheriff's Office for 4-1/2 years. The Public Safety Officers’ Benefits Office, under the United States Department of Justice, determined that Sgt. Lawrence’s death was in the line of duty under the PSOB Act 42 United States Code 3796 as the heart attack occurred 24 hours after engaging in an on-duty situation.
On March 5, 1969, Deputy Robert Ray “Bobby” Anderson of the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office was shot by a suspect in his custody. Deputy Anderson and his partner were transporting a person in crisis to the hospital when the person lunged over the seat in the patrol car and took control of Anderson’s partner’s service weapon. The suspect shot both deputies and a civilian who was also in the vehicle accompanying the deputies. Both deputies were hospitalized in critical condition. Deputy Anderson was paralyzed as a result of the shooting and his health deteriorated until his death on December 1, 1994. Deputy Anderson was 49 years of age and served with the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office for six years.
On July 25, 1982, Deputy Sheriff Irving Burkett of the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office was shot during a jailbreak attempt from the Rocky Butte Jail. Deputy Burkett was shot by an inmate with a .22 sing-action handgun in the right side of his head. Inmates began the break out at approximately 10:15 pm. The inmates had a gun inside the jail and through a series of hostages made their way to the control center section of the jail. Deputy Burkett heroically attempted to alert the rest of the jail that there was an escape in progress and was shot. Six individuals were sentenced to 25 years in prison after pleading guilty to four felonies. Deputy Burkett was severely and permanently debilitated as a direct result of injuries sustained in the shooting. Deputy Burkett died from his injuries on August 22, 2003. At the time of the incident Deputy Burkett was 63 years of age and had served with the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office for 14 years.