Deputy Richard A. Herzog
King County Sheriff’s Office
On June 22, 2002, Deputy Herzog, who was assigned to the six-member Newcastle Police Department, was slain while responding to a call of a man running through traffic on Coal Creek Parkway. He was first on the scene and approached the man in a calm, non-threatening manner, asking him to step off of the roadway. Deputy Herzog was charged by the man and his service pistol fell to the ground during the struggle. The man picked it up and shot the deputy as he ran from the area of where citizens were standing. Deputy Herzog fell to the ground a short distance away and was shot four more times. He died at the scene from gunshot wounds.
Exceptional Meritorious or Serious Injury
Sergeant Larry F. Evans
Spokane Police Department
On December 18, 2001, Sergeant Evans responded to a house fire. Upon arriving at the scene, he entered the residence and assisted a woman in exiting the building. The woman said her daughter was still inside in an upstairs room. Since the fire department hadn’t arrived yet, Sergeant Evans decided to go back in. Without regard for his own safety, he entered the burning house to look for the daughter. The daughter said she was attempting to put out the fire and was overcome with heavy smoke and felt herself start to lose consciousness. She said she really felt she was not going to make it out of the house until she felt Sergeant Evans grab her wrist and pull her down the stair case. His actions on that day and his willingness to put aside his personal safety undoubtedly saved the lives of two people. Sergeant Evan’s actions show his dedication to the department and the citizens of Spokane.
Trooper Elliot R. George
Washington State Patrol
On August 5, 2002, Trooper George was on patrol on southbound I-5 in Tacoma. At the same time, a northbound vehicle drifted onto the shoulder, struck an abandoned vehicle and burst into flames. Trooper George ran through the smoke to the vehicle and, after discovering the driver’s door was jammed, broke the window so he could unfasten the driver’s seatbelt. Unable to remover her through the window, he raced around to the rear passenger door. By now, flames were threatening the driver, who was semiconscious, and smoke covered the entire area, making visibility poor. Despite the heat, smoke, and flames, and with disregard for his own personal safety, Trooper George entered the vehicle and pulled the driver to safety. The driver survived her burns and injuries, and Trooper George was treated for cuts, bruises and smoke inhalation.