Pierce County Deputy Cooper Dyson honored in memorial service

TACOMA - On Monday, hundreds gathered at the Tacoma Dome to pay respects to Pierce County Deputy Cooper Dyson. Dyson was killed on Dec. 21 when his car crashed as he was heading to support other deputies on a domestic violence call.

According to Pierce County Sheriff's Detective Ed Troyer, Deputy Dyson loved serving others.

“He was one of the ones that got in here. He was very young and succeeded and fit right in and was off and running right away," he said.

It was his calling, but it also ran in his family, according to Troyer.

“They have a father who is part of the fire department for East Pierce Fire. They are a first responder family," he said.

Law enforcement from all over the state, even as far away as Georgia, attended the memorial service.

For those that plan for something like this, it is never easy. That's where the Behind the Badge Foundation comes in. It's a group dedicated to making sure memorial planning down to the support for the family is taken care of.

The organization worked through the Christmas holiday to make sure they honored Deputy Dyson and his family.

“This is a tough one. Many didn’t get to do the plans they had. They had to cancel some of their Christmas plans, but we are honored to be here to honor Cooper and honor his family," said Greg Miller, Chief of Emergency Operations for the Washington State Department of Corrections.

Miller also serves as a member of the Behind the Badge death response unit.

Many at Monday's ceremony knew Dyson personally. Charles Quade said he knew Dyson when he served in the U.S. Coast Guard based in Seattle. He said they had hopes of one day doing a camping trip together.

“It was pretty shocking. I had to do a check and make sure we were talking about the same person. My heart goes out to his wife and his family and I wish them the very best," said Quade.

Dyson's death hits close to home for James Schrimpshere, chief of police for the Algona Police Department. He lost his partner on the force several years ago, and it was around the Christmas holiday season too, he said.

“It really hits home, the severity of it not only of this community but law enforcement in general.” he said.

Deputy Dyson's family will be supported by his church, his family and the community. Many said it is something they plan on doing for years to come.

“These are people of honor and courage, who are willing to literally put their lives on the line," said Tony Gibbons, a retired Pierce County Reserve deputy.