A procession of police and first responders drove through Central Oregon Wednesday, escorting a Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office lieutenant who passed away following an off-duty motorcycle accident.
The procession for Lt. Ernie Brown moved through Sisters on Highway 20 before passing the sheriff’s office in Bend and arriving at a funeral home.
Brown was involved in a motorcycle crash in Junction City on Sunday. The sheriff’s office said he was taken to the hospital, where he passed away.
“Ernie was a humble and kind man, a selfless public servant, and dedicated husband, father, and grandfather. He touched many lives and was always willing to lend a helping hand to everyone. Our office has lost a great teammate and friend, and our community has lost a dedicated public servant,” Sheriff L. Shane Nelson said in a statement.
Brown was a 24-year veteran of the sheriff’s office, working as a technician in the corrections division. DCSO said he spent 21 years in the corrections division.
He was promoted to sergeant in 2011. Brown later became a training sergeant before being promoted to lieutenant in 2019.
DCSO said Brown was a founding member of the sheriff’s office SWAT team and Sheriff’s Office Honor Guard.
Brown was also a Marine Corps veteran.
He is survived by his wife and three adult children.
“Our family would like to thank everyone for the outpouring of love and honor for our beloved husband, father, grandfather and friend. Thank you for helping us through this most difficult time,” his family said in a statement.