Hundreds sign banner in Maple Valley to honor fallen deputy's sacrifice
MAPLE VALLEY, Wash. -- A grassroots organization is stepping up to make sure the family of fallen Pierce County Sheriff’s Deputy Daniel McCartney knows how much they appreciate his sacrifice.
McCartney was shot and killed on January 8 while investigating a home-invasion burglary in Frederickson.
When members of a group called the Blue Stripe Campaign heard that McCartney had been killed in the line of duty, they decided they needed to do something to give back.
Over the last two nights, hundreds of people have signed a special banner that will be presented to McCartney’s family ahead of his memorial on Wednesday.
"What we want his family to know is that we’re thinking of them. The whole community of Maple Valley is thinking about them and not just Maple Valley… all the surrounding communities," said Andy Audette, from the Blue Stripe Campaign.
The messages written on the long sheet of white paper came straight from the heart.
"That their service will not be forgotten and then I had my son sign his name," said Sarah Otto, who signed the banner in front of the Fred Meyer store in Maple Valley on Monday night.
The messages serve as notes of encouragement and support for McCartney’s widow and three boys and will be presented to the family on Tuesday.
Many of the people who signed the banner never knew McCartney personally.
"It’s just important to take a moment and realize that there’s things bigger than us right now," Otto said.
"We want the family to know that he’s a fallen officer that died as a hero. He’s absolutely a hero," Audette said. "There’s many of us that wouldn’t do that job and couldn’t do that job. And they need to understand, and those three kids need to understand that their dad was a hero. And that we appreciate it and so many people do."
Members of the Blue Stripe Campaign also put blue tape on the back of cars and trucks with a line of black on top to honor McCartney.
The campaign started a year-and-a-half ago to show support for law enforcement and their families.
The group has held a number of fundraisers and events since.
This one was by far the most emotional, Audette said.
"We’ve got people crying," Audette said. "So many of the messages are really heartfelt. Most of them are prayers, God bless, hearts, blue hearts, and the kids are putting palm prints down and saying how much they are thinking the family and appreciate the hero job that McCartney did. And so, it’s very emotional."
Nearly $2,500 was raised as part of the two-day event, Audette said. That amount includes an anonymous donation of $1,000.
The money will be given to the Behind the Badge Foundation to benefit McCartney’s family, Audette said.