On December 16, 2020 Klamath County Sheriff Chris Kaber & Klamath County Commissioner Derrick DeGroot presented Oregon State Sheriff’s Association Award of Valor to Klamath County Sheriff’s Office Deputies, Deputy Shasta Petersen, Deputy Maria Gray, Deputy Levi Justman, and Deputy Jimmy Leach.
On Friday, April 10, 2020 at approximately 4:15 PM Klamath County 911 Communications District received a report of a disturbance in the 1700 block of Fargo Street. The reporting party advised that when the suspect arrived at a residence on Fargo Street he was intoxicated. The suspect was believed to have taken his 6-year-old child with him and he had a semi-automatic rifle in the front seat of the vehicle.
Oregon State Police Sergeant Austin Hopson located the suspects vehicle as it traveled northbound on Crater Lake Parkway. A short time later officers began to pursue the suspect who attempted to elude them.
While officers pursued, KCSO Deputy Levi Justman was able to position himself to deploy a spike strip. Shortly after, OSP Trooper Justin Henrick performed a Tactical Vehicle Intervention maneuver on the suspect vehicle and it stopped on Wocus Road.
The suspect exited the vehicle and immediately began firing at officers on scene. The vehicles of Trooper Henrick, Deputy Petersen and Deputy Gray, along with OSP Trooper Kameron Gordon all sustained damage from gunfire. Trooper Henrick, while taking the majority of the fire, waited until a lull and began to return fire, striking and incapacitating the suspect.
Deputy Petersen then rescued the 6-year-old child from the vehicle who was unharmed, and moved to a safe location. OSP Trooper Gordon sustained a gunshot wound during the firefight and OSP Recruit Torres, who had not yet graduated from DPSST, performed initial first aid on Trooper Gordon. Responding troopers and deputies, OSP Lieutenant Donnie Miller and KCSO Deputy Jimmy Leach continued first aid while evacuating Trooper Gordon from the scene to an area that was safe for medical personnel to evaluate and transport.
Sheriff Kaber made a separate presentation of the Award of Valor to the following Oregon State Police personnel in recognition of their contributions:
Oregon State Police Trooper Justin Henrick
Oregon State Police Trooper Kameron Gordon
Oregon State Police Trooper Kyle Torres
Oregon State Police Sergeant Austin Hopson
Oregon State Police Lieutenant Donnie Miller
Oregon State Sheriff’s Association Award – Deputy Levi Justman:
On December 16, 2020 Klamath County Sheriff Chris Kaber & Klamath County Commissioner Derrick DeGroot presented Oregon State Sheriff’s Association Life Saving Award to Klamath County Sheriff’s Deputy Levi Justman.
On the evening of Friday February 28, 2020 at 23:52 hours Deputy Levi Justman and Reserve Deputy Joey Clifford were dispatched to a report of shots fired and two victims with injuries to their lower extremities. Upon arrival on scene, at 23:55 hours, Deputy Justman observed a large gathering of people in a trailer park and two subjects on the ground. As Justman exited the patrol vehicle he instructed Deputy Clifford to cover him as he was going to assess the medical needs of the victims.
Deputy Justman began to assess the first victim who was screaming loudly and was called to access the second victim. As Deputy Justman assessed the second victim he observed the pale color and shallow breathing as well as substantial blood loss. Deputy Justman quickly located a bullet wound in the right leg and recognized it as an arterial bleed and placed a tourniquet above the wound. At 23:57 hours Deputy Justman notified 911 dispatch that he had placed a tourniquet of the second victim and advised the scene was clear for EMS personnel to respond to the scene. He directed a bystander to stay with the second victim and monitor his status and returned to the first victim to render additional first aid.
The first victim suffered a shattered femur, the second victim suffered a severed femoral artery. The attending physician noted that if the tourniquet had not been applied by Deputy Justman the victim would have lost his life.
Oregon State Sheriff’s Association Award – Life Saving Award:
On December 16, 2020 Klamath County Sheriff Chris Kaber & Klamath County Commissioner Derrick DeGroot presented Oregon State Sheriff’s Association Life Saving Award to Klamath County Sheriff’s Office Corrections Employees, Corporal Daniel Saltenberger, Deputy Ryan Hampson, Deputy Patrick Snider, and Deputy Rollie Knaggs.
On December 11, 2019, Deputy Knaggs was working in A-pod of the Klamath County Jail. At approximately 2100 hours, an adult in custody attempted to harm or kill himself using a bedsheet. Deputy Knaggs saw this and called for backup.
Deputies Hampson, Snider, and Corporal Saltenberger responded to the call for backup. As they entered the section Deputies Hampson, Snider, and Knaggs attempted communication with the adult in custody in an effort to talk him back to safety. Corporal Saltenberger made contact with the adult in custody, pinning his arm through a railing and preventing the subject from falling.
Deputies worked to remove the sheet and lower the adult in custody to the lower level where they moved the adult in custody to a suicide prevention protocol. The adult in custody was later seen by Klamath Basin Behavioral Health and treated for underlying mental health issues.
Without the actions of Corporal Saltenberger, Deputy Hampson, Deputy Snider, and Deputy Knaggs the adult in custody may have succeeded in harming themselves and not received the treatment they needed
Oregon State Sheriff’s Association Award – Deputy Ed Langerveld:
On December 16, 2020 Klamath County Sheriff Chris Kaber & Klamath County Commissioner Derrick DeGroot presented this year’s Oregon State Sheriff’s Association Volunteer of the Year Award to Klamath County Sheriff’s Deputy Ed Langerveld.
Deputy Langerveld has been a volunteer Reserve Deputy with KCSO since 2010, a veteran U.S. Marine Corps helicopter pilot, and Chief Execution Officer of Emergency Air Lift. Langerveld’s service as a volunteer deputy provides enormous benefits to our community as he often logs upwards of 100 hours per month as a line patrol deputy responding to everyday calls for service.
In addition to his service as a patrol deputy, Langerveld also serves as KCSO’s Air Operations Captain. He donates, at his own expense, his personal fleet of aircraft; a helicopter and several fixed wing aircraft to assist with Search and Rescue missions, vehicle pursuits, numerous reconnaissance, and special response missions. During the wildfires of 2020 Deputy Langerveld flew observation and documentation flights in Jackson and Klamath County.
Lastly, Deputy Langerveld has taken on the development of a drone program for KCSO. Langerveld has researched and developed policies, procedures, as well as training and donating his personal fleet of drones to help protect the community and the deputies that he responds with. Operations Lieutenant Randy Swan stated: “Volunteer Deputy Ed Langerveld clearly meets and exceeds the stated requirements for this award and deserves state-wide recognition for his efforts. With the generous donation of time, skills, and expertise, Klamath County and the State of Oregon is a safer place to live because of the dedication of Deputy and/or Air Operations Captain Ed Langerveld.”
Oregon State Sheriff’s Association Award – Diver Lynn Mortenson:
On December 16, 2020 Klamath County Sheriff Chris Kaber & Klamath County Commissioner Derrick DeGroot presented Oregon State Sheriff’s Association Distinguished Service Award to Klamath County Sheriff’s Office Dive Rescue Diver Lynn Mortenson.
On December 23, 2019, the Klamath County Major Crime Team was investigating a missing person case believed to have actually been a homicide. The homicide would have occurred weeks prior and the investigation determined a possible location of the victim’s body in a pond of water in Klamath County. The Klamath County Sheriff’s Office Dive Rescue Team was activated and Dive Rescue Diver Lynn Mortenson responded.
According to investigators at the scene, Diver Mortenson entered the small body of stagnant water in freezing weather, during the hours of darkness, knowing there was a strong likelihood a body had been in that water for weeks. Diver Mortenson performed the assignment in an exemplary fashion, recovering the victim’s body from the pond which confirmed the death of Pedro Padilla and allowed the Major Crime Team to move forward with the investigation without further delay.
In addition to the above service to the community, Diver Mortenson returned the following morning and continued the search for corroborating evidence to aid in the investigation. Oregon State Police Detective Thomas Andreazzi advised, “I observed Ms. Mortenson enter the frozen pond to complete her assignment. Ms. Mortenson was faced with breaking ice, and fighting through shallow waters and thick mud, creating difficult swimming circumstances. Ms. Mortenson’s dedication to her job was highly impressive as she continued to dive with no complaints, until she located more evidence associated with the homicide.”
Oregon State Sheriff’s Association Award – Deputy Gage Knox:
On December 16, 2020 Klamath County Sheriff Chris Kaber & Klamath County Commissioner Derrick DeGroot presented Oregon State Sheriff’s Association Distinguished Action Award to Klamath County Sheriff’s Correction Deputy Gage Knox.
On the morning of Saturday August 8, 2020 Deputy Gage Knox was off duty as he shopped in Klamath Falls. While shopping he heard a gunshot outside and people stating there was a shooter in the parking lot. Deputy Knox confirmed that 911 was contacted and positioned himself to observe what was occurring. He observed the gunman standing in front of the business next to the grocery store with a pistol arguing with two men. Deputy Knox retrieved his firearm and cautiously approached the incident. He identified himself as a KCSO Deputy and ordered the suspect to stop. Deputy Knox disarmed the gunman who was then approached by the two men he was arguing with and they attempted to assault the gunman. Deputy Knox separated the men and held him until deputies arrived.
If not for Deputy Knox intervening the violence would have continued and could have resulted in serious injury or death.
Oregon State Sheriff’s Association Award – Dive Captain Mike Parsons:
On December 16, 2020 Klamath County Sheriff Chris Kaber & Klamath County Commissioner Derrick DeGroot presented Oregon State Sheriff’s Association Meritorious Service Award to Klamath County Sheriff’s Office Dive Rescue Captain Mike Parsons.
Dive Rescue Volunteer Captain Mike Parsons has served the Klamath County Sheriff’s Office Dive Team for over thirty-three years. He has be on thousands of missions, saved numerous lives and recovered countless items of evidence for aiding in the prosecution of criminal cases in Klamath County as well as other counties that have requested his services.
Captain Parsons has served as an ERDI/SDI instructor, teaching hundreds of hours in dive classes. Search and Rescue Commander, Lieutenant Brian Bryson stated: “His attention to detail is remarkable. Captain Parsons has helped dozens of divers achieve higher levels of certifications with his willingness to assist them with their classes and courses of study or teaching them himself.”
For over thirty-three years Captain Parsons has answered the call for Klamath County Dive Rescue. This level of volunteerism has lasted longer than many law enforcement careers and continues to this day.
We thank Captain Parsons for his contributions and dedication in service to our community.