Memorial service held for former Wapato police officer

Memorial service held for former Wapato police officer »Play Video
GRANDVIEW, Wash. -- Family, friends and colleagues gathered in Grandview to pay tribute to former Wapato police officer, Derek Hansen. Officer Hansen died earlier this month from injuries sustained in the line of duty.

A fallen hero. A community in mourning.

Loved ones gathered at the Grandview Church of the Nazarene to say goodbye to Officer Derek Hansen.

His death earlier this month was caused by blood clots in his lungs. They resulted from a shoulder injury, sustained while trying to arrest a suspect about three years ago. Officer Hansen had surgery, but never fully recovered. The scar tissue led to the clots.

At the church, law enforcement colleagues from around the state - to pay their respects and remember, together, how much he meant to them.

"He could always make you laugh," said Kirsten Widner, a dispatcher for Officer Hansen. "Having a bad day, he'd make you laugh."

"I just always knew him to be a decent guy, a guy who was genuinely interested in helping the public to be safe," said Yakima County Detective Sergeant Mike Russell.

A passionate police officer, Officer Hansen worked for the cities of Zillah and Wapato. He loved the outdoors and was an avid hunter and a devoted family man.

Renton Sergeant Dave Skelton mentored Officer Hansen when he was just a high schooler.

"He was the kind of guy that wanted to help people. He had a gregarious personality, a wonderful smile, and all he really wanted to do was go out there and help the people in the community."

Officer Hansen fulfilled his dream. At the ceremony, his contribution remembered with the presentation of the flag. A black sash, tied and held.

And a final call over the radio.

"Officer 24, out of service. Gone, but not forgotten."