A memorial service for an Oregon police officer who was killed in the line of duty will be held this Saturday in the small town of Nyssa. Hundreds of police will be in attendance to honor the fallen officer — Joseph Johnson — who was shot and killed during a pursuit last weekend.
At least six officers from Central Oregon police agencies will be attendance.
“Our whole goal is to give back to that department, to that family, to the profession,” said Lt. Clint Burleigh, Bend Police Department. “Whatever the task is, whether it’s an honor cordon, a lot of times what we’ll do is flag presentations at the beginning of the service. We’ll fold a flag. Sometimes we have honor watch over the fallen officer to protect them. There’s a vast amount jobs for us to do to make sure that family and that officer are honored for the commitment and, unfortunately, giving their life for the community.”
Authorities have arrested a man suspected of fatally shooting Nyssa reserve police officer Johnson after a car chase last Saturday.
Johnson was unable to return fire before he died. The suspect fled, and Johnson was found dead in his car when officers and medical workers arrived.
The suspect was later found and arrested.
“I think it’s very important for all of us to show support for each other,” said Sgt. Troy Grotchy, Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office. “None of us know the guy who was killed in the line of duty but it’s very important for us to show that we support them. We support the agency. We support his family. That’s why the guys on my team do it.”
The service for officer Johnson starts at 11:00 a.m. Saturday at Nyssa High School. It will be preceded by a law enforcement procession that will wind through the streets of Ontario and Nyssa.
The public is encouraged to stand along the route to show their support for Johnson’s wife and two children, who will be riding in the procession.
“We will probably be doing some flag ceremonies, rifle ceremony or bell ceremony. There’s a casket watch or urn watch depending on the circumstance. That’s all for the family and the honoring of him as an individual and sacrificing his life for the work that he did,” said Officer Leo Lotito, Bend Police Department.
Local police say they are honored to provide honor guards to other departments because they know other departments will return the favor in times of need.
The Oregon Fallen Badge Foundation is accepting donations, 100% of which will go to Johnson’s family.