BELLINGHAM — Gov. Gary Locke joined hundreds of mourners Wednesday at a memorial service for a Whatcom County sheriff’s deputy killed last week during a high-speed chase.
The governor said Matthew Todd Herzog, 27, was the type of officer others should strive to be.
Law officers from all across Washington, as well as some from British Columbia and Idaho, packed into Christ the King Community Church. An overflow crowd observed the memorial by video from another room near the sanctuary. Following the ceremony, Herzog’s body was taken in a lengthy procession of police and other vehicles to Ferndale for a private funeral service and public reception.
The five-year veteran died of severe head injuries after a crash during a high-speed chase Sept. 13. Herzog was a passenger in a patrol car driven by deputy trainee James Triplett as the pair pursued a car that had gone speeding by them. The patrol car ran into a ditch and the passenger side struck a tree. Triplett was treated at St. Joseph Hospital and later released.
Sheriff Dale Brandland said Herzog’s death, the only officer’s death in the line of duty in recent memory, has badly shaken the department.
Brandland and other speakers found it difficult to maintain their composure while eulogizing Herzog and describing his professionalism, compassion, sense of humor and love for his family and job.
His survivors include his wife, Amy of Bellingham, parents Todd and Margaret Herzog of Kingston, his sister Kimberly Anderson of Silverdale, and in-laws, Steven and Kay Johnson of Lynnwood.