Wounded Mount Vernon officer officially retires after 32 years

Mike McClaughry in front of police headquarters in Mount Vernon. (Photo: KOMO News File)

MOUNT VERNON, Wash. -- Mount Vernon police officer Mike "Mick" McClaughry, who was shot in the back of the head last December and left nearly blind, retired last week after 32 years of public service.

According to a Facebook post written by his daughter, McClaughry officially retired from the police department on Nov. 30.

McClaughry was shot on Dec. 15, 2016, while responding to a 911 call in Mount Vernon.

The shooting left him nearly blind - he can only see variances of light and a little color - and has some short-term memory problems.

After the shooting, doctors said he exceeded all expectations in his recovery.

“He came in and he was expected to die,” Dr. Richard Ellenbogen, the chair of the department of neurological surgery at UW Medicine said last February. “It's pretty inspiring, to even me, who does this every day."

Since returning home after recovering at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, McClaughry has been honored by Gov. Jay Inslee with the Washington State Law Enforcement Medal of Honor, and was the first recipient of the Mount Vernon Police Department's Purple Heart Medal, according to a police Facebook post.

According to the post, McClaughry had several roles during his decades-long career including working in both patrol and the investigation divisions, was the first D.A.R.E officer in Mount Vernon, a squad lead officer and a field training officer for 22 years.

"As a training officer, Mick was responsible for mentoring new officers as they transitioned from the academy setting to that of a street officer. Mick is a recognized role model, literally training just about every officer in the Department," Chief Jerry Dodd wrote in the post.

Editor's note: The video shown is from February 2017.

Since the shooting, McClaughry has made motivational appearances and speeches throughout the community.

"For the past 32 years, Mick has been a valued contributor to the entire department. His knowledge, experience, wisdom, and daily contact will be truly missed by all," the police department wrote in their post.

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