The Washington state House of Representatives unanimously passed a resolution on Wednesday to “join the people of the State of Washington in commending, saluting, and honoring Trooper Justin Schaffer for his exemplary and exceptional service.”
The resolution was authored and introduced by Rep. Peter Abbarno, R-Centralia.
“Trooper Schaffer was deeply involved in our local community,” Abbarno said. “His passing was an enormous loss to our area and the family he left behind.”
Schaffer was fatally struck by a vehicle while placing spike strips on Interstate 5 in Chehalis on March 24, 2020, during a pursuit of a robbery suspect.
Abbarno attended the unveiling of a monument in Schaffer’s honor in Chehalis Wednesday.
“We need to remember and honor our law enforcement officers who give so much of themselves every day so we can be safe and sound in our homes, our neighborhoods and on the highways,” Abbarno said in a statement. “This resolution is a recognition of the enormous impact Trooper Schaffer had on the lives of the people in Lewis County and beyond. Thank you Trooper Schaffer and thank you to all those who serve and protect.”
Schaffer, 28, was born on Jan. 30, 1992, in Glenwood Springs, Colorado. He graduated from Adna High School and later received a degree in criminal justice from Centralia College.
Schaffer began working for the Washington State Patrol on Nov. 12, 2013, and had served the agency for seven years at the time of his death.
He completed K9 training in November 2018 and was a certified K9 handler to his partner, Frankie, who retired from active service after Schaffer’s death and currently lives with Schaffer’s family.
The pair were transferred to Chehalis on Dec. 13, 2018.
Schaffer was the 30th member of the Washington State Patrol to die in the line of duty, and the first to die in the line of duty in Lewis County.
He is survived by his wife Sandra, brother Brandon and his parents, Glenn and Sheila.
William Thompson, the Olympia man accused of leading multiple law enforcement agencies on a chase down Interstate 5 and ultimately killing Schaffer, was found competent to stand trial last November.