Jackson County deputy slain in line of duty added to memorial ... 96 years later

A Jackson County Sheriff's Department deputy killed by an inmate during an attempted escape in 1917 will be added to the Oregon Fallen Law Enforcement Officer Memorial nearly a century after his death.

A news release from the Oregon Department of Public Safety Standards and Training says they approved the addition of Charles H. Basye on Thursday following a nomination from sheriff's department investigative specialist Ron Walch.

Basye, a jailer at the old county jail in Jacksonville, was murdered June 12, 1917. Jail employees were first alerted to the incident at 2:30 p.m. that day when a prisoner called through his cell that he heard a man groaning and thought someone had been injured. County officials then found a bloodied Basye lying on the floor next to his desk. He had been bludgeoned with a flat iron and died. Escaped inmate J.L. Ragsdale killed himself before sheriff's deputies could return him to custody.

The state memorial is located at the Oregon Public Safety Academy in Salem and honors close to 200 fallen city, county, state, tribal and federal police officers from across the state who have died on the job since the 1880s. Basye also is honored on the National Law Enforcement Memorial in Washington, D.C.

— Ryan Pfeil


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