An emotional candlelight vigil for former Hoquiam Police Officer Daniel McCartney was held at Hoquiam Police headquarters Tuesday evening, and drew officers from across the county and beyond, members of McCartney’s family and citizens paying their respect, altogether about 200 strong.
McCartney was shot Sunday night when responding to a home invasion call as a Pierce County Sheriff’s Deputy.
Police chaplain Sean Hollen organized and officiated at the vigil. Members of McCartney’s family were there, including his parents, brother, sister-in-law and numerous nieces and nephews. Many openly wept as Hollen, Hoquiam Police Chief Jeff Myers and officers from Hoquiam and the Pierce County Sheriff’s Office shared their remembrances of the young father of three.
“Dan trained with me at the jail,” said Hoquiam officer Jared Spaur. He noted that McCartney earned the nickname “Danimal” as a Hoquiam officer because he was always on point and always put everything he had into his job.
“He set an example,” said Spaur. “That’s my plan now, to help set an example and be a leader for everyone here and those in the community. I hope I can do half of what Dan did as an officer.”
Myers and Hollen both recognized the sacrifice police officers make in service of their communities, and the sacrifices made by the families of those officers. A theme through the evening was echoed by several speakers: If not us, who? Who will protect the community from the evil that unfortunately exists?
“I’ve struggled with the loss that he and his family are going to pay and the sacrifice those boys are going to have never having their dad and, I don’t know, it’s tough to balance that right now,” said Myers. “But I hope there are other Daniel McCartneys that step forward and continue the legacy of law enforcement.”
McCartney previously worked as a personal trainer at the Grays Harbor YMCA. Wednesday, CEO Franzine Potts released this statement:
“Daniel spent a brief time working at the YMCA in 2009 before he moved on to law enforcement. During that tine, Daniel’s passion for our community quickly became evident. He had an ability to easily connect with members and staff through his passion for health and wellness and giving back to his local community. We are thankful for the opportunity we got to get to know Daniel during his brief time at the YMCA. He was an absolute pleasure to have on staff and will forever be missed. Thank you, Daniel, for allowing us to know you. We will forever be grateful for your sacrifice and service.”
Chief Myers wrote on the police department’s Facebook page Wednesday, “The weather held off and we saw the stars out, perhaps also in honor of Daniel. We will always hold ‘Danimal’ in our hearts; we grieve for his wife and little boys as they go through this terrible time. As everyone returns to their normal routine, please keep Daniel’s family in your thoughts and prayers as their lives will never be the same. Daniel gave his life in the service and protection of the citizens he served as a law enforcement officer; from Daniel’s death on Monday, through the many years to come, so did his family.”
The Pierce County Sheriff’s Office announced Wednesday there will be a public memorial service at Pacific Lutheran University’s Olson Auditorium Wednesday, Jan. 17 at 1 p.m. The auditorium is located at 10th Avenue and 124th Street South in Tacoma. There is no onsite parking; updated information on parking and shuttle service will be posted on Pierce County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page as it becomes available.