Hundreds turn out in rain
By R.J. Marx
Two years ago, Seaside Police Sgt. Jason Goodding was killed while attempting to serve a warrant. He was the 183rd Oregon law enforcement officer to die in the line of duty.
Under a light but steady drizzle, hundreds of law enforcement officers, first responders and visitors came to the police station Monday night to remember their colleague and friend.
“Tonight we share with you our raw emotions,” Lt. Bruce Holt, Seaside’s longest-service police officer, told the crowd. “We will continue to go where others will not. We understand the past that has been placed before us and know that it is ours to deal with. We accept.”
The 2017 remembrance had been a private affair, held among the closely knit law enforcement community.
This year’s remembrance presented a different focus. “I wanted to make sure the community could join us this year,” Holt said. “I want the community to know we appreciate everything they’ve done for us the last two years.”
Sgt. Johannes Korpela read a poem in Goodding’s honor and Sgt. Josh Gregory shared country song lyrics from the music Goodding loved: “Always stay humble and kind.”
Police Chief Dave Ham requested a moment of silence as the crowd held candles.
Visitors remained after chaplain Andy Klumper’s benediction, sharing a sense not only of loss for Goodding but an appreciation of the brotherhood of officers.
“It doesn’t seem to get easier, but it’s good to see all this support that’s out here,” Cannon Beach Police Chief Jason Schermerhorn, a former Seaside officer and friend of Goodding, said. “Time goes by, but you still have these remembrances. It brings you back where you were that night, all the different emotions, the anger and the sadness, and just trying to be there for family and close friends.”
Tigard Police Officer Brandon Petersen left Seaside shortly before Goodding’s death, but he recalled lessons learned. “He was always the kind of guy who, even as a supervisor, was out there and working hard on the street,” Petersen said. “He’d always want to help you out.”
Among those who toured the police station after the vigil to view the cards, letters and condolences that poured in after Goodding’s death were Mayor Jay Barber and his wife, Jan.
“It’s a wonderful tribute to Jason,” Barber said. “He will never be forgotten in the community. It shows not only the character of the department, but the love for him and his family.”
Message from Salem
State Sen. Betsy Johnson was among those to speak at Jason Goodding memorial shortly after his death, an event held at the Seaside Civic and Convention Center that brought more than 1,000 law enforcement officers and first responders from around the nation.
Two years later, from Salem on the first day of the legislative session, she said the harsh memories of that night in Seaside will always remain. “This is a dark day in Oregon, and regrettably for the family the pain will never go away. I hope they find comfort in the number of people who are remembering Jason Goodding today.”