Community remembers Oregon City officer's 'ultimate sacrifice' - KPTV - FOX 12

Community remembers Oregon City officer's 'ultimate sacrifice'

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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

Police officers, firefighters, community members and family gathered Thursday to pay tribute to a fallen volunteer police officer, remembered by colleagues as an "outstanding officer" and by family as the light in their eyes.

Reserve officer Robert Libke "saved lives" when he responded to a report of a gunman who set his home on fire earlier this month, said Oregon City police Chief Jim Band. Libke encountered 88-year-old Lawrence Cambra at the home after Cambra tried to gain entry to a neighboring woman's home. Libke, 41, was shot and killed.

"(Libke's) intervention took the attention away from that woman and her two grandchildren," Band said. "And ultimately, Rob made the ultimate sacrifice to save the lives of other people."

At a celebration of life service at the Memorial Coliseum, Libke's pregnant wife arrived in a wheelchair. She did not speak, but the judge who officiated their wedding read letters from other family members.

"I promise to take care of Wendy and the baby and be there always for both of them," said a letter from Libke's sister. "Growing up with you is the best thing that ever happened in my life."

"You were the light in your mom's eyes. And we are so very proud of you. Everything you did, you were great at. We promise to be there for Wendy and the baby, and you will always be in our hearts," said a letter from Libke's mother.

A biography of Libke provided by organizers of Thursday's service said he and his wife had already picked out a name for their daughter: Ziva Nicole Libke.

The emotional ceremony included the police radio call from the day Libke passed away.

"All units, reserve officer Robert Libke is out of service. End of watch. Nov. 4, 2013. Gone, but never forgotten."

Earlier in the day, hundreds of people lined the streets and freeway overpasses in Oregon City and Portland to honor Libke. Police patrol cars and fire department rigs left Oregon City by the dozen and arrived at Memorial Coliseum.

"It just felt like the right thing to do to come out today and pay our respects," said Lynn Hughes, who watched the procession in Oregon City.

It took 45 minutes from the first car to leave Clackamas Community College until the final vehicle left.

Libke, a graduate of Marshall High School in Portland, worked at Evraz Steel in Portland since 1997. He was most recently a general supervisor for the company, but he had also been with the Oregon City Police Department since 2009.

He was the first Oregon City police officer shot in the line of duty in more than 100 years.

The Oregon Fallen Badge Foundation is funding Libke's memorial service. Anyone wishing to donate to help offset the costs of the service may do so at http://oregonfallenbadge.com/site/index.php/make-a-donation.

In addition, anyone wishing to help Libke's family can donate at any branch of the Clackamas Federal Credit Union to the "Officer Libke Fund."

Donations, with checks payable to CCPOBF and the words Officer Robert Libke Fund in the memo line, can also be mailed to:

The Clackamas County Peace Officers' Benevolent Foundation
P.O. Box 426
Oregon City, OR 97045

More information is available at CCPOBF.org.

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