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Dan McCartney, Pierce County Sheriff
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Why you could hear kids’ voices on Pierce County Sheriff radios Monday night

A memorial to Deputy Dan McCartney was unveiled Tuesday afternoon. (Don O'Neill, KIRO Radio)

I logged onto my Facebook page and saw a post by Kim Renninger, who was married to Sgt. Mark Renninger, of the Lakewood Police Department. Mark was one of the four officer’s gunned down almost a decade ago at the Forza Coffee shop by an armed felon. Kim had posted this article.

I was taken aback by what I read. You may have heard the phrase “gone but not forgotten,” now used by many agencies at fallen officers services.

A radio dispatcher from the agency will call out the officer by their badge and car number, they will call them three times, and when they don’t respond, the dispatcher will say the officer is “gone but not forgotten,” and then there is the tolling of three bells as the last radio call fades and the memorials conclude.

Many law enforcement agencies adopted this practice after it was instituted in New York City after 9/11.

The article argues that many families are promised support initially by their loved one’s agency when they lose their life in the line of duty, but then a lot of the attention and concern fades once departments and communities move on from the loss of an officer.

Sheriff Paul Pastor of the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department has been hard at work to make sure this doesn’t happen at his agency.

Today is the one-year anniversary of Pierce County Sheriff Dan McCartney’s untimely death.

McCartney was shot and killed after responding to a burglary in Frederickson. He was the first officer on the scene and was fatally shot after pursuing the suspect on foot. McCartney was a U.S. Navy veteran, and had served with the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department for three years, following a six-year stint with the Hoquiam Police Department.

Deputy McCartney left behind a family with three young boys that are now five, seven, and 10 years old.

Today at 1:30 p.m., on the one year anniversary of Deputy McCartney’s final call, the PCSD dedicated and renamed their firearms training center. It will now be called “The Deputy Dan McCartney Firearms Training Center.”

His three young boys were there for the dedication, and also to unveil a monument that commemorates their father’s, goodness, his bravery, and his dedication to his family, his department, and the Pierce County community.

And in the spirit of keeping Deputy McCartney’s memory alive, here is the final radio call that went out Monday night at midnight, to all the deputies that were on patrol in Pierce County.

You can listen to it here.

You have to wait for it, but at the end you will hear three young voices:

County 484 and 3/3 to all units.

Thank you for loving us and honoring our Dad.

You are our heroes. Keep your lights shining bright and hold the line. Love, Team Dorito.

Yes at the end of the final radio call, you hear Deputy McCartney’s three little boys, Tate, Traxton, and Tytus. They thank the men and women of the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department for continuing to “hold the line” in their daddy’s honor.

Pierce County Badge Number 484 is “gone but not forgotten” today by Deputy McCartney’s agency and his community, but most importantly by three little souls that one day may grow up and decide they want to continue in the tradition of “holding the line” just like their father did.

See you on the radio at 3.

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