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DCSO closing offices Wednesday to attend celebration of life for Lt. Ernie Brown, killed in motorcycle crash

(Update: adding office closures, livestream link, donation information)

Longtime DCSO employee, killed in motorcycle crash, was with agency for 24 years

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- The Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office will be closing all offices, including the jail administration office, on Wednesday at 12:30 PM in order for staff to attend the celebration of life for Lt. Ernie Brown.

As a reminder, the celebration of life for Brown will be taking place at 2:00 PM at the Deschutes County Fairgrounds in the Middle Sister building. The public is welcome to attend. . 

The Sheriff’s Office will livestream Lt. Brown’s celebration of life for those unable to attend. The livestream can be found at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCewAnOckHUpOwN2njCwpm7A/videos?view=2&live_view=502

Lt. Brown’s family requests instead of flowers, donations be made in Lt. Brown’s name to any of these organizations: Oregon Fallen Badge Foundation (Oregon Fallen Badge Foundation), Creating Memories for Disabled Children (Creating Memories for Disabled Children), or Tight Blue Lines.

Brown, a 24-year veteran of the agency, died Sunday, Sept. 4 after an off-duty motorcycle crash at a motocross track in Junction City.

Last week, first responders and citizens lined the streets of Sisters and Bend to view the procession returning Brown to Bend and show their support for his family and colleagues.

NewsChannel 21 spoke with some bystanders about why they were there.

Jill Kaufmann and Rebecca Battleson are crisis supervisors for Deschutes County Behavioral Health. They went to the procession and shared why they thought it was important.

"Our office is next door to the sheriff's office, and we often work alongside the deputies and folks over there at the jail and sheriff's office," Kaufmann said. "And just kind of think of them as coworkers and colleagues, and just wanted to be there and support them as they're dealing with this significant and tragic loss."

Battleson shared the same sentiment.

"It's important to me as a member of our community to come together in times of loss -- especially tragic and unexpected loss -- to show support," Battleson said.

Brown was riding a vintage motorcycle during off-road races at the Eugene MX Park (Territorial Motocross Park) in Junction City when he crashed Sunday afternoon, Lane County sheriff’s Sergeant Thomas Speldrich said.

Brown, who was 53, was transported to a hospital after the crash, but passed away from the injuries he received, according to the announcement by Deschutes County sheriff's Sgt. Jayson Janes.

Brown began his career with the Sheriff’s Office 24 years ago as a technician in the Corrections Division. He became a corrections deputy in 2001.

"During his time with the Sheriff’s Office, Lt. Brown proved himself to be a leader," Janes said. "Ernie earned the rank of Sergeant in 2011. He later became the Sheriff’s Office training Sergeant before being promoted to Lieutenant in 2019. Lt. Brown was also a founding member of the DCSO SWAT Team and the Sheriff’s Office Honor Guard."

Lt. Brown was a veteran, having proudly served in the United States Marine Corps.

Lt. Brown is survived by his wife and three adult children.  His family is requesting their privacy during this tragic time, Janes said.

Sheriff Shane Nelson said, “Ernie was a humble and kind man, a selfless public servant, and dedicated husband, father, and grandfather. He touched many lives and was always willing to lend a helping hand to everyone. Our office has lost a great teammate and friend, and our community has lost a dedicated public servant.”

The announcement concluded with a statement from the Brown/Piatt family: "Our family would like to thank everyone for the outpouring of love and honor for our beloved husband, father, grandfather and friend.  Thank you for helping us through this most difficult time."

Article Topic Follows: Deschutes County

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