Cowlitz County will remember Sherriff’s Deputy Justin Richard DeRosier today.
Officer DeRosier lost his life in the line of duty after he was shot, responding to a call Saturday, April 13th, 2019. Justin’s death marks the first officer death in the 165 year history of the agency. Officer DeRosier is survived by his wife and 6 month old daughter.
Justin was a 2008 graduate from Kelso High School. He was a criminal justice graduate from Washington State University. He became a Cowlitz County Sherriff’s Deputy in 2016. He served as a Whitman County Sherriff’s Deputy prior to joining the Cowlizt County Sherriff’s Office.
I did not have the pleasure of knowing Deputy DeRosier. The out-pouring of care and support from the community since his death has clearly shown that Officer Justin DeRosier was well known. He is loved by this community. No one has shared a memory of Justin that didn’t include “his wonderful personality and natural way with people.” It has been said many times in the past 11 days that “Justin was very good at his job, and loved serving his community.” His family members recently stated, “Even if Justin had known that call would end his life, he still would have taken the call. He loved what he did.”
Our hearts have been deeply moved. Over the past 11 days it seems just about everyone has found a way to show their support for Justin’s wife and baby girl, while honoring our fallen hero. Local business’s began fund raising immediately. Dutch Brothers, Red Leaf, Cowlitz County PUD, The Pancake House, along with many other local business owners went to work in creative ways to provide financial support to help this grieving family. Local Barber Bill Ammons from Kelso organized a walk at Lake Sacajawea that had a turn out of hundreds of people to “Back the Blue”. Organizations that support fallen officers came to help as well.
Processionals from Vancouver back to Longview and then back to Portland for his memorial line streets, overpasses and and highways. Everyday people, firefighters, first responders, dispatchers, other law enforcement from the entire region and state coming out to honor Officer Justin DeRosier. A make shift memorial stood with Officer DeRosier’s Patrol Vehicle covered with flowers, gifts and messages to the family in memory of Justin. Facebook and YouTube tributes written and created by his friends and loved ones. The New York Yankee’s even sending their condolences for a life cut short.
Officer Justin Richard DeRosier will be memorialized at a service at Portland State University today. The service will be live streamed to a local church and his former High School, allowing the community to participate. Justin just 29, was a outstanding officer, guy full of personality, loving son, brother, husband and father.
Over and over again since his death, “Blessed are the Peacemakers” has been on my mind. “Blessed are the Peacemakers, for they will be called son’s of God”, Matthew 5:9. Justin truly was a Peacemaker. His family and friends have said there was nothing he wanted to do more than be a police officer.
I am proud of my small town. I am proud to be part of a community that has recognized “the tragedy of a beautiful life well lived, cut short by evil.” I am thankful that my community and region have not become numb by the staggering frequency that we see our peacemakers loose their lives to protect ours. I’m thankful that we choose to ‘bleed blue” and remember Deputy Justin DeRosier and the other officers who have lost their lives this year. I believe God will honor our prayers over Justin’s family. God will give them “a hope and a future”, that He will make a way through this journey of grief and loss. He will be their comfort and a shield about them. I believe his daughter will grow up knowing what a truly remarkable man her father was. I believe Justin is gone now, but will never be forgotten. I believe the values he fought for, worked towards every day of his life will live on.
I believe that God will use this little corner of Washington state to “wake up” communities across the nation. That “a realization will grow that whatever we don’t say “no to”, is actually a “yes.” When we tolerate gang violence, thug “cop killing culture”, we are complacent, our lack of “NO”, has become a vague yes”. It’s time to take back our neighborhoods, our small towns, and cities across America. The taking background I’m talking about will come about through “focused prayer for the protection of our peacemakers”. It’s our job, it’s our time. The tide can be turned. God use us as a catalyst, to bring about the change we so desperately need to see in our nation.
Today we remember Officer Justin Richard DeRosier. We commit ourselves to “Back the Blue” across this nation in daily prayer. Pray for the families of the fallen officers, as they walk through the valley of the shadow of death. Pray that they have the support and help with the little things that they need every day. Pray that their children grow up with “father and mother” figures to mentor and love them in the place of the parent they have lost.
Thank you for your service Cowlitz County Sherrif Deputy Justin Richard DeRosier. Rest in Peace.
The following names are those who have also lost their lives in the line of duty in 2019 or (related to service) taken from the “Officer Down Memorial Page 2019”.
- Masters Police Officer Joseph
- William Shinners, Provo, UT
- Police Officer Dale James Woods, Colerain Township, OH
- Police Officer Clayton Joel Townsend, Salt River,
- Police Officer Natalie Becky Corona, Davis, CA
- Trooper Christopher Lambert, Illinois State Police, IL
- Sgt. WyTasha Lamar Carter, Birmingham, AL
- US Deputy Marshall Norman D. Merkel, USA
- Deputy Sherrif Ray Elwin Horn III, Comal County, TX
- Deputy Sherrif Sean Paul Tuder, Mobile, AL
- Deputy Sherrif Joshua Bryan “LJ” Ryer Jr, Glassrock Co., GA
- Corporal Shane Michael Totty, Baton Rouge Police, LA
- Detective William Lee Brewer, Claremont Co. Sherrif, OH
- Border Patrol Agent Donna Doss, US customs and Border Patrol, USA
- Trooper Lucas Bartley Dowell, Virginia State Police, VA
- Police Officer Matthew J. Rittner, Milwaukie Police, WI
- Detective Brian P. Simonsen, NYC Police, NY
- Agent Alfred Zonyet-Perez, Puerto Rico Police, PR
- Lieutenant Daniel Duane Hinton, Florida Hwy Patrol, FL
- Undersherrif Monty Thomas Johnson, Pawnee Co., OK
- Police Officer Nicholas Scott Gallinger, Chattanooga Police, TN
- Sgt. Steve Hinkle, Sullivan Co. Sherriff’s Office, TN
- Police Officer Nathan Hayden Heidelberg, Midland, TX
- Deputy Sherrif Jacob Howard Keltner, McHenry Co, IL
- Corporal Daniel H. Groves, Colorado State Patrol, CO
- Deputy Sherrif Ryan Shane Thompson, Kittitas Co., WA
- Police officer Paul Thomas Rutherford, Phoenix Police, AZ
- Deputy Sherrif Peter Herrera, El Paso Co, TX
- Trooper Brooke Jones-Story, Illinois State Police, IL
- Trooper Gerald Wayne Ellis, Illinois State Police, IL
- Detective Benjamin J. Campbell, Maine State Police, ME
- Deputy Sherrif Spencer Allen Englett, Forsyth Co., GA
- Sgt. Steven L. Licon, California Hwy Patrol, CA
- Deputy Sherrif Justin Richard DeRosier, Cowlitz Co., WA
- Police Officer Kyle Olinger, Montgomery County Police, MD
- Conservation Officer Eugene Wynn Jr., Natural Resources, MN
- K9 Able, Buereau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, Explosives, USA
- K9 Haas,Duluth Police, MN
- K9 Chucky, Bexar Co Sherriff’s, TX
- K9 Defender, BNSF Railway Police, RR
- K9 Dolby, Fairfax County Police, VA