Sunday, November 10, 2013/lk
OMAK Even many years later, emotions still run high when friends, family and loved ones talk about three Omak-area officers who died in the line of duty.
More than 40 people attended a dedication ceremony Wednesday for Law Enforcement Memorial Park, located at the intersection of Ross Canyon Road and Ironwood Street.
Omak’s newest park was dedicated in the memory of Colville Tribal Police officer Roy Bradshaw, who was killed Aug. 27, 1973; tribal Sgt. Louis Millard, who died Aug. 27, 1986 and Omak officer Michael Marshall, who died March 26, 1998.
Colville Tribal Police Chief Cory Orr said it was a perfect way to make sure sacrifices of Bradshaw, Millard and Marshall are never forgotten.
Hopefully, Orr said, no other plaques will ever be added to the memorial park.
“The pain never goes away,” he said.
John Sirois, of the Colville Business Council, said the work done by police is vital.
“They really are that rock that’s holding us and protecting us,” he said.
The park features basalt columns, each with plaque commemorating the different officers. The dedication ceremony was attended by family members of the fallen officers and members of several different law enforcement agencies. Those who spoke expressed gratitude to the police officers in attendance for the job they continue to perform, thanked city staff for their efforts in erecting the memorial and offered stories and memories of the fallen officers.
“Each officer affected my life in some way,” Omak Police Chief Larry Schreckengast said.
Schreckengast said he vividly remembers the day Marshall was killed. He said he was at home celebrating his birthday when he received the call nobody ever wants to hear: Officer involved shooting. Officer down.
“Every year, I share my birthday with Mike,” he said.
Orr said hearing that kind of news sticks with fellow officers and the community.
“It was not a good night, not a good month, not a good year,” he said.
Mayor Cindy Gagne and City Administrator Ralph Malone credited Nattalie Cariker, a member of City Council and the Parks Board, for spearheading the effort to build the park.
Malone said it was the type of project that never would have come to fruition without somebody like Cariker taking the reins.
“She was the driving force in coming up with the concept plan and then on her own time and travels found the basalt and negotiated the purchase, delivery and installation,” Malone said.
The park was given to the city as a donation by Mary Wenger in honor of her parents, who were the original owners of the 5,000-square-foot property.
The park was built two years ago, but the finishing touches were recently added, including concept and design work from a class at Wenatchee Valley College. It cost the city about $2,500 from its park fund.
Malone said he thought it was a “wonderful turnout” on Wednesday. “I was delighted.”