Peter Garland

Peter Garland, a Klickitat County Sheriff's Deputy, was killed in an on duty traffic crash on July 18th, 2007
Peter Garland, a Klickitat County Sheriff’s Deputy, was killed in an on duty traffic crash on July 18th, 2007

Peter was 38 years of age at the time of his tragic death on Hwy 97 on 07-18-07.  He would have been 39 on 07-27-07.  His life was taken by an out-of-control 20yr old who typified the youth that Peter had tried to get back on track in his 3 years as Klickitat Co. Sheriff’s Dept. DARE officer.  He spent countless hours in the public middle schools teaching the DARE program.  He even worked on his own time to finish the DARE curriculum for the Goldendale Middle School when the program was discontinued mid-year.  He was DARE Officer of the Year for the state of WA in 2001. Peter and his wife of 17 years had taken in many troubled youth to help them change their lives from anger, turmoil, drugs and alcohol into a life of faith in Jesus Christ and to become law-abiding citizens.  Peter’s Christian testimony was evidenced by these actions and through his work as a volunteer camp counselor with the Grace Brethren Church’s Camp Clear Lake up at White Pass for the past three years. He was recently appointed as an overseer at the Goldendale Grace Brethren Church, becoming the youngest overseer on the church board.

Peter was appointed Patrol Sergeant in February of 2007 and not only worked his shift as a road deputy but was also assigned to a 7-day shift of duty supervisor where he was on-call 24/7.  Peter was on-duty supervisor when he was killed on 07-18-07.  After completing his regularly assigned 7-day, on-call shift, he then accepted another 7-day, on-call shift to take the place of his fellow sergeant whose father had just passed away.  This action was one of many that showed Peter’s unselfish devotion to the people of his department, his community, and his family. 

Sheriff Rick McComas, at Peter’s memorial service in the Goldendale High School gym, said that Peter was his right arm and brought the sheriff’s dept. and the people of Klickitat County closer together by emphasizing that law enforcement personnel are public servants and the sheriff’s department is going to continue following Peter’s example.

Peter was the KCSO (Klickitat County Sheriff’s Office) volunteer coordinator of the Klickitat County Search and Rescue organization (SAR).  Jeff King, who functioned as second in command after Peter, said at the memorial service that Peter had organized and trained the SAR volunteers and taught them to work together as a team.  Peter also arranged for the first ever local training sessions, so that SAR members could save travel time and costs and train on local terrain.  Peter’s volunteer duty as KCSO Coordinator for SAR was 24/7, requiring him to be available whenever a search and rescue event was initiated in Klickitat or neighboring counties.  He even coordinated SAR incidents while on vacation with his family because of his 24/7 status and his commitment to community. He was a man of integrity who lived by his principles and his faith in God.

Peter and Roxanne Garland have two foster sons. This is the second set of foster children they have been involved in raising.  They have always treated any child in their home as family, often assisting troubled youth in finding a safe haven.

Peter’s hobbies were hiking and mountain climbing with his family and SAR volunteers, restoration and repair of Volkswagen Bugs, and playing complicated military strategy games with instructions that sometimes take 3 days to read. 

Peter will be missed by his wife and two foster sons (18 & 16 years of age) and by his many friends; but he will be remembered as a public servant whose Christian testimony was recognized by all with whom he came into contact.  Peter touched the lives of many individuals in his community and he has left a huge void that may never be filled.

Click here to see where Peter Garland’s Family is today