MONROE, Wash. – Correctional Officer Jayme Biendl is being remembered as a courageous and dedicated worker whose loss has devastated her family, friends and co-workers
A motorcade escorting Biendl's casket traveled past the Monroe Correctional Complex on its way to Everett, where the memorial service at Comcast Arena was held.
Family, friends and fellow officers from across the U.S. and Canada gathered for the service for Biendl, who was killed Jan. 29 in the chapel of the prison at Monroe.
Speaking at the service, Gov. Chris Gregoire offered condolences to Biendl's family and friends on behalf of the people of the state of Washington.
"I want you to know that an entire state joins you here today in mourning your loss," she said.
"Our loss is made ever more difficult because of how Jayme was taken from us," said Gregoire. "It was all the more painful for it occurred in a sacred place."
"Our officers honor her memory each day by continuing to serve and by continuing to protect, and we honor her memory by honoring those who serve," said Gregoire.
The Department of Corrections has lost one of its finest, Secretary of Corrections Eldon Vail said..
"Correctional Officer Jayme Biendl was the best of who we are," said Vail. "She was and always will be an example of professionalism and dedication to duty, whose memory is embedded in our hearts and in our minds for the rest of our lives."
Vail said the tragedy of Biendl's death will change the corrections system as an agency.
"We will come out of this stronger than before, we will rise above this, and we will do it together," he said. "It is our responsibility to Jayme's memory, but most of all it is our promise to Jayme's family, that her loss will not be in vain."
Biendl's family released a statement, saying "The family of Jayme Biendl would like to express its sincerest gratitude to the community and agencies that have come together to make such a wonderful memorial for their loved one. Jayme would have been so very proud to know that such effort was put forth on her behalf. We would like to thank everyone for the outpouring of support that has been offered to Jayme's family and friends and we will keep Jayme dear in our hearts forever."