In the December 2007 issue of the Clackamas County Peace Officers’ Association’s Union News, CCPOA president Steve Hyson writes,

The Foundation’s board has started work on several projects. We have begun work on creating a permanent law enforcement memorial here in Clackamas County. This work includes the creation of a bronze sculpture. The sculpture is being created by renowned artist Rip Caswell. Mr. Caswell has his own foundry located in Troutdale. You can preview some of Mr. Caswell’s works by visiting the foundry or its’ website at www.caswellgallery.com. I know you will find his work is of the highest quality as he is a world renowned artist. You may also see his beautiful eagle sculpture on SE Stevens Rd.

Portland Public Art has looked at Rip’s work several times – Remembering Tom McCall in Bronze, ANSWERED – Portland Public Art Quiz #2 (memorial for 9/11 first responders), Dead as a field mouse (about the aforementioned “beautiful eagle sculpture”), and Casey Eye Institute’s Exalted Ruler.

Solid bronze choice for a local sculptor of square-jawed men.

But listen, let’s not gloss over the subject of the artwork here. Art has the potential to heal rifts, mend fences, make friends of enemies. It speaks to a milder mind, a quieter spirit, a celestial understanding between humans. Right?

The Clackamas County Peace Officers’ Association represents Clackamas County Sheriff’s David Willard and Sandy Police officer William Bergin, the two officers who encountered Fouad Kaady (pictured), naked, injured and burned after a traffic accident, sitting in the middle of the road. Twenty-eight seconds later, Kaady was dead, shot seven times.

Consider the opportunity for this artwork to represent something other than suburban placidity, something other than good old boys, something other than red white and blue, or even the thin blue line.

EXTRA – 28 seconds : The Killing of Fouad Kaady
EXTRA – Background on Steve Hyson, Sheriff’s Deputy will not be prosecuted
EXTRA – Background on William Bergin, Sandy officer’s DUII arrest surfaces

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