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Published: Tuesday, February 8, 2011, 1:43 p.m.

Biendl remembered as 'all that was good and noble'

EVERETT -- Grief and gratitude mixed Tuesday afternoon at a memorial service honoring slain corrections officer Jayme Biendl.

Biendl was taken by a person motivated by darkness and in an act of evil, prison chaplain Linda Haptonstall said.

"Jayme Biendl was the antithesis of evil and represented all that was good and noble in our chosen profession of corrections," she said.

Gov. Chris Gregoire praised Biendl and her co-workers for their sacrifice.

"Our officers honor her each day by continuing to serve and continuing to protect," Gregoire said.

Biendl was supported by her faith, family, friends and colleagues, Gregoire said. Now they must rely on one another and faith to get through the pain ahead.

"(Her death) was all the more painful because it occurred in a sacred place," she said.

Gregoire spoke at length in private to Biendl's family as she handed over a special box containing a state flag.

Tears and quiet sobs broke out in the crowd as the ceremony continued.

State Corrections Secretary Eldon Vail said officers like Bindle work a hard, dangerous job that is under-appreciated and often misunderstood.

"No one knows how hard the work is except those who do it," he said.

Corrections workers have been overwhelmed by the community's caring since Biendl's death, Vail said.

It is past time for a thorough conversation about the role of public safety, he said. Those who work in prisons deserve change.

"It is our promise to Jayme's family that her loss will not be in vain," Vail said.

Biendl was an exemplary corrections officer, said Scott Frakes, superintendent at the Monroe Correctional Complex. She was the perfect example of the important role women can take in corrections. They bring skills in collaboration and communication that are needed behind the bars.

Biendl's professionalism and dedication inspired those around here, he said.

"Jayme had so much more to accomplish," he said. "Jayme had so much more to give us."

Frakes choked up as he described the loss of a staff member on prison grounds. Her badge, keys, radio call sign and post number all will be retired to symbolize that loss, he said.

At the same time, her colleagues in the corrections department will strive every day to keep "the memory of Jayme Biendl in our minds and hearts," Frakes added.

A full processional featuring bagpipes and drums marked the beginning of the ceremony. A variety of agencies including Snohomish County Firefighters Pipes and Dreams took part.

Everett police officer Lester Letoto sang the U.S. and Canadian national anthems.

The unofficial count put the crowd at about 3,500 people, many of them corrections and police officers from throughout the U.S. and Canada.

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