SEASIDE, Ore. (KOIN) —Bagpipes played, the National Anthem was sung and stories were shared at the public memorial for a Seaside policeman killed in the line of duty.
Sgt. Jason Goodding was shot and killed on February 5 while serving a warrant.
The 39-year-old husband and father of 2 is remembered as a natural leader in the classroom, on the basketball court and football field. Loved ones described him as someone people naturally gravitated towards.
On display at the Convention Center are family photos, his Sherwood High School football jersey and a special University of Oregon Ducks jersey made specifically for the memorial. Even though he graduated from Portland State University, he was a Ducks fan and spent many weekends traveling to Eugene for football games. Dozens of Duck related memories were shared.
Both Clatsop County Sheriff Tom Bergin and Seaside Police Chief Dave Ham spoke, sharing funny and lighthearted memories of their friend.
Bergin spoke of shared beers, Goodding’s dog Oliver that used his garage as a bathroom, and mostly, his smile. Bergin even slapped a cut-out of a smiling mouth on the podium.
Through tears, Bergin spoke of his pain and told Gooding’s family “don’t go it alone.”
“We’re here to take on your pain,” said Bergin. “We’re here for you.”
Ham also shared stories of laughter, family vacations, even a trip to Portland where Ham mistakenly authorized Goodding to have knee surgery.
Ham also had a message for the Seaside Police Department.
“Our hearts are heavy. We’re grieving the loss of our department leader, a team member and a friend. As we celebrate Jason’s life today, our tears of sadness are going to turn to tears of joy soon.”
Ham thanked Goodding’s family and ended his eulogy with a message for them.
“I love you girls so much. I love your dad. I love you guys. I’m going to miss my friend.”
“He did his job respectfully”
Amidst the personal stories of joy and laughter, the speakers shared memories of Sgt. Goodding as a law enforcement officer.
“Jason brought out the best of others, whether it was personally or professionally,” said Chief Ham. “He did his job respectfully, he was fair, he was kind, he carried out his duties in the most professional manner.”
Goodding’s former coach and mentor Roger Schenk said Jason was great at working with people.
“His passion was law enforcement and he made the right choice. He embodied community policing.”
Seaside Police Sergeant Gary Welborn was partners with Goodding in the detective unit.
“Jason loved his job and he loved being a police officer. Jason took pride and great seriousness” in his job, an emotional Welborn said. “Take care of Jason for us, and watch over his family, this I pray. On behalf of the men and women of the Seaside Police Department, we are forever in debt to the great sacrifice Jason and his family made.”
Oregon Governor Kate Brown awarded Goodding’s wife Amy The Oregon Medal of Ultimate Sacrifice.
Earlier Friday the sun came out and the and the rain stopped for the procession of Sgt. Gooding.
People waved flags and put their hands over their hearts as the procession went by.
Hundreds of police officers from all around the country, including Los Angeles, Chicago, Denver and New York, joined the procession. Dozens of fire trucks and a Coast Guard helicopter also participated.
Catherine Smith runs the Bridge Tender Tavern in Seaside and says the city didn’t just lose a cop, they lost a friend.
“We all feel like it could never happen here and now that it has it’s completely shattered our sanctity, our security, our safety.”
The Human Bean Coffee Stand along Highway 101 donated all of Monday’s sales to the Goodding family, more than $10,000.