Courage, sacrifice of police must be remembered

Letter date: 
Friday, August 10, 2012
Letter publisher:
Letter body: 

Police have been in the news this week, responding to a mass shooting in Wisconsin and being the fatal victim of an unresolved crash in Oregon.

We are grateful for police officers’ courage, dedication and skills. They go to work each day not knowing what they will encounter, cognizant that the day could switch from mundane to dangerous in an instant. They must be trained to deal with whatever the day brings; their families have to live with that awareness as well.

Nationally, Americans were reminded of those dangers in the swift police response to the Sikh temple shooting, in which one officer was seriously wounded; a fellow officer shot the assailant from 75 yards away.

Locally, that reminder came in this week’s announcement that Marion County officials still are pursuing justice in the 2007 death of Deputy Kelly Fredinburg. He was killed in a head-on crash on Highway 99E near Gervais while responding to an emergency call. The other driver, Alfredo De Jesus Ascencio, has been indicted on charges of criminally negligent homicide but is believed to be in Mexico. His cousin, who was a passenger in his car, also was killed.

County officials have been unable to extradite De Jesus Ascencio but hope he will be caught and prosecuted in Mexico for the fatal crash.

“We wanted prosecution here because this is an Oregon case. It happened in our community; Kelly Fredinburg was part of our community; it was kind of a personal thing,” Deputy District Attorney Don Abar said. “This came to the point where it’s just not going to happen.”

Working with law enforcement officials, the Fredinburg family established a reward fund for information that will lead to De Jesus Ascencio’s apprehension. In the future, the fund will help law enforcement pursue suspects in other line-of-duty police injury or death cases.

The Marion County sheriff’s and district attorney’s offices deserve thanks for continuing to pursue justice in this case. Deputy Kelly Fredinburg will not be forgotten.

To donate

Donations to the Oregon Officer Reward Fund can be made at or at any US Bank branch.