Governor Gary Locke’s Remarks
Deputy James Slater Memorial
September 4, 2003

We gather this afternoon deep in grief and somber gratitude.

To mourn the loss of a cherished friend and dedicated law enforcement officer, Deputy James Slater.

On behalf of our entire state, Mona and I extend our heartfelt sympathies to Deputy Slater’s wife Miriam, to his daughters Coral and Shelby, and to the rest of his family, his many friends and his countless colleagues.

Our hearts go out to you in this time of loss and sorrow and thanks for sharing him in his dance of life.

As we mourn this tragic loss, we take solace in the knowledge that James leaves a profoundly rich legacy.

A legacy of honor, service, sacrifice and love.

A legacy of devotion to his family and loyalty to his friends.

James touched and influenced many, many lives.

James lived to protect, to serve, and, if need be, to sacrifice.

He was a leader and role model—in the Marines, in the Spokane County Sheriff’s office, in the community, and in life.

James gave his life in the line of duty protecting his community.

He was backing up a fellow officer chasing a criminal.

He lived those final moments the way he lived his entire life:

A good man doing the right thing.

His death is a grim and heartbreaking reminder that while our men and women in uniform keep us safe, they face constant danger in many forms, every single day.

A reminder that there is no such thing as a “routine” traffic stop, a “routine” patrol or a “routine” backup.

Our men and women in public safety – police officers and firefighters – they’re always there, when we need help, looking after us and protecting us. Who is there to protect them, to look after them? Their colleages and our Supreme God.

Our communities depend so much on officers like James. So his loss is even harder to bear.

We cast our shadows in a colder world without him.

Yet the world is a better, safer, more humane place for his time here.

And James lives on in our memories and in our hearts.

A loving dedicated family man.

A man committed to strong close-knit neighborhoods.

An exemplary public servant and protector of his fellow citizens.

A role model who lived what he believed.

A good man who did the right thing, day in and day out.

God Bless the soul of Deputy James Slater, and God Bless his family.

And God Bless the men and women in uniform who serve and protect us each and every day.

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