Governor Gary Locke’s Remarks
Davis Memorial
August 10, 2000

The clock in the courthouse tower here in Port Angeles is stopped at 1:39.

That is the time on the afternoon of August 5 when a dedicated law enforcement officer, Wally Davis, lost his life serving us.

On behalf of the state of Washington, I am profoundly humbled to join his family, friends and fellow officers here today to thank him and honor his memory.

As a former deputy prosecuting attorney and now as governor, I have had the opportunity to get to know many police officers. I've learned from them about the risks they take at every traffic stop, every domestic dispute. There is no such thing as a routine "stop" or "disturbance call."

Think about what Deputy Wally Davis has done for us. For 21 years here and in California, usually alone, he walked into some of the most potentially dangerous and unpredictable situations possible. He did it willingly and professionally. Most of us cannot imagine taking the risks he took every day.

Some can imagine it, however. Wally's wife, Lisa, and the other spouses of law enforcement officers, image it every time our law enforcement officers leave for work each day.

Wally Davis was taking one of those perilous risks when he responded to a 911 disturbance call just after noon on August 5. There he fell, and died at 1:39 p.m.

Law enforcement officers, and those they protect, know they are accepting these terrible risks when they take their oaths.

Still, when one dies in the line of duty, we cannot escape overwhelming shock and grief. Such a death tears at the very fabric of our community.

It is especially traumatic for the residents of the community when one of their protectors falls.

So we come together to try to understand the tragedy and support each other.

Most importantly, we come to honor Wally Davis.

He was a good man. A loving husband, father, son and brother. And most sad, a child soon will be born who never will know and touch his or her father.

Wally Davis was a creative man, a talented author of Christian mysteries and western novels and cartoon books. He also was an accomplished artist.

He also was a man who loved the Northwest.

He was a friend to so many and treated his friendships the same way he served his community: faithful, dependable and unwavering.

I wish I could have counted myself among his friends.

Still, I will remember his spirit because of what I've learned about him from the people gathered here today.

I know his spirit will continue to remain with the other deputies of the Clallam County Sheriff's Department and officers from other departments as they undertake their dangerous duties each day.

I know Wally Davis' spirit will continue in the lives of his wife, Lisa, and children Jeff, Joshua and Jessica.

And in the life of Lisa and Wally's baby will soon enter a world that offers such great opportunities for achievement, joy and service to others.

And a world that is not perfect.

It was the imperfect side of our world that helped Wally Davis become so much more to this community than family man, friend, civil servant and popular artist.

Because he also was our guardian and protector. And our hero.

The citizens of Clallam County and the state of Washington owe Wally Davis and his family a debt we never can repay.

To Lisa, Jeff, Joshua and Jessica, Mona and I, and people all across the state are so sorry for your profound loss.

We hope that, in time, you will find some measure of comfort in the support of loved ones and in the many fond memories you have of Wally.

God be with you all.
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