Fallen Oregon City officer honored at memorial

Fallen Oregon City officer honored at memorial

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by Cornelius Swart, KGW.com Staff

kgw.com

Posted on May 6, 2014 at 5:14 PM

Updated Wednesday, May 7 at 9:36 AM

SALEM – Governor John Kitzhaber was in Salem Tuesday as part of a memorial for fallen officers.

Every May the names of law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty are inducted into the Oregon Fallen Law Enforcement Memorial. On Tuesday the name of Robert Libke, a volunteer police officer from Oregon City was one of two memorialized in a quiet ceremony.

Libke was shot to death Nov. 5 while responding to a house fire call. Lawrence Cambra, 88, had set his house on fire and then shot Libke as he arrived on the scene. Cambra then shot himself, according to police reports.

Libke, a volunteer, was the first Oregon City officer to die in the line of duty since 1906. His death was followed by an outpouring of community support and a large state memorial service that attracted law enforcement and first responders from up and down the West Coast.

More: Rituals of Libke memorial stir primal emotions

On Tuesday, Libke’s wife led the procession carrying the couple's new baby girl.  Their child was born after Libke died on Feb 18 of this year.

"This little girl that he's never going see and she's never going to know her father," Gov. Kitzhaber said. "What can I say? It's very sad."

Oregon City Police Chief Jim Band was also on hand and shared what Libke wrote on his application about why he wanted to become a reserve officer: “'I want to become a reserve police officer so I can help the community and grow,’” Band read. “’I like to lead people and solve problems.’”

To date more than 160 officers have been approved for the memorial wall, recording in-the-line of duty deaths going back all the way to the 1880’s. The memorial has been in place since 2000.

The ceremony also honored Deputy Charles Basye, a Jackson County deputy killed during a violent jail break.

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