Pierce County trail dedicated to fallen deputy

Pierce County leaders dedicated a park trail on Tues., Dec. 28, to Kent Mundell, the Pierce County Sheriff’s deputy who was killed in the line of a duty a year ago.

“I am thankful for this place to come and remember,” Sheriff Paul Pastor said during a dedication ceremony at Ashford County Park ( http://www.co.pierce.wa.us/pc/abtus/ourorg/parks/ashford.htm ). “I am prayerfully thankful for Kent Mundell’s service and sense of duty. And I am prayerfully hopeful that the sacrifice he made will not be required of others.”

Executive Pat McCarthy noted that the inscription on the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, D.C., reads, “It is not how these officers died that made them heroes. It is how they lived.” Considering how much Deputy Mundell loved the outdoors, she said, “Dedicating this trail in Kent’s memory is an appropriate way to honor him, and to remind the people who visit this wonderful place that our safety and security can never be taken for granted. I hope that the people who walk this trail and read the plaque find it to be a place of reflection and inspiration.”

On Dec. 21, 2009, Mundell and Sheriff’s Sgt. Nick Hausner were escorting an intoxicated man from a house in the Eatonville area when the man pulled a gun and opened fire. Both Mundell and Hausner were hit, and Mundell managed to return fire and kill the shooter. Mundell died a week later. Hausner recovered from his wounds and returned to duty.

The trail dedication just a few miles outside of Mount Rainier National Park was attended by more than 100 people, including staff from the Sheriff’s Department and local law enforcement agencies as well as residents from the surrounding community.

“This beautifully located memorial fittingly honors the work, life and sacrifice of Deputy Mundell,” said Prosecuting Attorney Mark Lindquist, who also attended the dedication.

The trail dedication marked the first of two observances scheduled for Tuesday, Dec. 28 in Mundell’s honor. The second observance was a 7 p.m. candlelight vigil at the Sheriff’s South Hill precinct, 271 John Bananola Way East.