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Ellensburg, WA 98926-2887
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Kittitas (pronounced 'KITT-i-tass') County is located in central Washington
State. It spans from the lush forested Cascade Mountains to the upper Yakima River Valley plains and
the Columbia River.
Kittitas County, WA -
Kittitas County Deputies received the state's highest honor on Friday.
On Friday, October 8, 2021, Kittitas County Deputy Ryan Thompson, Corporal Jason Goeman, Deputy Benito Chavez and 11 other law enforcement officers received the Washington State Medal of Honor in a ceremony at the Olympia state capitol’s Washington State Law Enforcement Memorial. The Medal of Honor is awarded to law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty and those who have distinguished themselves by exceptionally meritorious conduct. This year’s ceremony included honorees from 2019 and 2020.
On March 19, 2019, Deputy Thompson responded to a road-rage incident south of the town of Kittitas near Ellensburg, Washington. The suspect vehicle fled from Deputy Thompson, who pursued it along with Corporal Goeman and then-Kittitas Police Department Officer Chavez. The suspect vehicle drove into a dead-end in a Kittitas trailer park, where the driver jumped out and immediately started shooting. Deputy Thompson was shot once in the shoulder and another bullet struck his holstered handgun. A third round struck Officer Chavez as he stepped out of his car to join the fight, shattering his femur. Corporal Goeman returned fire, shooting the subject fatally and instantly ending the gunfight. Deputy Thompson was transported to Ellensburg’s Kittitas Valley Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries. Officer Chavez went through months of surgeries and rehabilitation before returning to full duty.
This past Friday, Deputy Ryan Thompson’s medal was accepted by his father, Terry Thompson, and younger brother, Brandon Thompson. Corporal Jason Goeman was accompanied by his wife, Stephanie; and Deputy Benito Chavez, who became a Kittitas County deputy this July 2021, was joined by his wife, Monica.
Sheriff Myers noted, “We remember Ryan every single day, and we know we are fortunate to have deputies like Jason and Benito. We’re glad to see Washington State recognize what we already know; that these are courageous public servants who assume terrible risks to do what is necessary to protect our community.”
Kittitas County, from the Cascades to the Columbia, and online at http://www.co.kittitas.wa.us
Kittitas County has a total area of 2,333 square miles. The highest point in the county is Mount Daniel at 7,959 feet above sea level.