On This Twenty-Fifth Anniversary of the Memorial Fund We Give Our Respect, Honor, And Remember Each And Every One Of Them For Their Dedication And Service
In Respect To All Of The Law Enforcement Officers Who Gave Their Lives For Their Community, We Thank You For Giving The Ultimate Commitment
"When a police officer is killed, it's not an agency that loses an officer, it's an entire nation." Chris Cosgriff, ODMP Founder
It was just getting dark as Det. Michael Raburn, who liked to be referred to as Mike, pulled up my driveway driving his brown El Camino; his precious car that was always in tip top shape. I had just arrived home from a five mile run up and down the Petrovisky Rd. that is located in Maple Valley, WA. Mike was gleaming and smiling, his usual demeanor, as he got out of his car and walked up to my wife Connie and me. We were sitting out on the porch enjoying a warm evening. The sun was fading to the West as it hid behind the trees. Mike was wearing his faded jean coveralls and a blue tee-shirt underneath it. He was a happy man, funny, and enjoyed life, not to mention how much he loved his family and friends. However, God makes the ultimate decision about when life begins and ends.
I met Mike when I transferred from the Burien Precinct #4 and moved out to the Kent Precinct #3. I found Mike to be confident, joyful, and as I began to work with him, an excellent law enforcement officer. Later, I was transferred from reactive patrol to a detective position at Precinct #3, in the Burglary/Larceny Division and Mike accepted an assignment in the Civil Division. Det. Charlie Love, Mike, and I would meet at Family Fitness Center each morning at 5:00 a.m. The three of us would exercise from 5:00 until 6:30 a.m. and then leave the Center and head out to our individual assignments.
Charlie and I were assigned to the same unit, but Mike worked downtown in Seattle, in what everyone titled Precinct One – Headquarters. We would tease Mike that his new assignment was a step away from retirement and only old men worked in the Civil Division. The three of us would laugh, and return to our daily exercise routine. This was Monday, March 26, 1984. This would be the last time Mike, Charlie, and I would exercise together.
During our morning work-outs, it wasn’t uncommon for the three of us to become involved in lengthy discussions about the manner in which the youth of today demonstrated little to no respect towards law enforcement officers. Although Mike, Charlie, and I felt that we were among the majority; many of the law enforcement officers felt the same way.
In a FBI report released in 2015 the amount of police officers killed in the line of duty as a result of criminal activity nearly doubled from 2013 to 2014. Some police union leaders and law enforcement experts attributed the spike to the public having less appreciation and respect for police officers. The report came just a day before a New York City police officer was gunned down while pursuing a suspect, exemplifying the continued violence against cops. Unions advocate for more training and education to prevent these deaths, but the violence has nonetheless caused a drop in police recruitment (Lidge, 2015).
On Tuesday, March 27, 1984, Mike was stabbed with a sword while responding to the home of a mentally disturbed person. He was working plainclothes at the time to serve an eviction on the tenant. When he knocked on the front door, the suspect reached through the doorway and stabbed him with an antique bayonet. Mike was able to fire several shots at the suspect while retreating. A SWAT team forced entry later on the night and shot and killed the suspect.
Mike is and will remain my friend. He was a solid, respected, and an integrase man, who had a solid belief system who believed that being a law enforcement was the ultimate God-given the responsibility of protecting and serving the community in which he lived in and worked in.
This last week was the 25th Celebration of Law Enforcement Memorial Fund. May God watch over all of those who is now responsible for watching over them until we reunite in the immediate future. Until then God, please watch over all those who wear the Law Enforcement Uniform and protect and serve those in their communities.