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Painter Vigil

Posted on 6th January 2012 at 09:08

Several hundred people gathered last night at Rainier Riverfront Park, taking part in the Candlelight Vigil to mark the passing of one year since the shooting death of police Chief Ralph Painter. Pastor Paul Rice with Riverside Community Church helped to lead the event, noting how the flames on the candles are similar to the brevity of life; he also says that those flames help represent Painter’s dedication to his family and his community. Several people spoke at last night’s vigil, each making sure to tell Amy Painter and the rest of the family that they’re not alone as they deal with the loss. Community member and friend Roger Thomas calls Painter a “big cop in a small town.” Sergeant Eric Bunday with the Hillsboro Police Department related how Painter helped him get his current job, after being laid off from the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office, saying that Painter “took care of us,” even if they didn’t work directly for him. Rice also noted that Painter was more than just a good police officer, he was an amazing father and an amazing man, and he says that the Rainier community is worse off, now that he’s gone.