Emotional Memorial Service Held for Former Yakima Valley Police Officer

GRANDVIEW, WA - A very emotional service was held in Grandview Friday for a former Lower Valley Police Officer.

Gone but not forgotten. Former Wapato and Zillah Police Officer, Derek "Chip" Hansen is remembered as a gentle giant. A man who put others first.

"I dispatched for him and a lot of the times he would get out late, and I lived in Sunnyside so he would meet me at the gas station to make sure nobody robbed me at night," said Valerie Ibarra. "So that's one of the things I remembered about him. He was always that person that went out of his way."

"He had a gregarious personality, and a wonderful smile," said Sgt. Dave Skelton, a childhood mentor to Hansen.

"He's very kind and caring and anything you needed he would stop what he was doing and make sure it was taken care of," said Kirsten Widner.

Hansen died suddenly on March 8th at his Toppenish home. He was only 43 years old.

The Yakima County coroner says his death was caused by an injury he received on the job three years ago when he was working as a Wapato Police Officer. A job that Hansen loved.

"He would come down to my home, say hey Dave, can you tell me a police story," said Sgt. Skelton. "Kind of started getting interested in things. He seemed really encouraged by the police aspect. He was the kind of guy that wanted to help people."

Hansen also enjoyed hunting and spending time with his loved ones.

Family and friends who spoke during the Memorial Service said Hansen's son, Colt, is his pride and joy. Hansen leaves behind his son, fiance, mother, father, sister, brother-in-law, nieces and nephews and his two beloved dogs.

Hansen's friends said they're very proud of the life he lived.

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