Gone, But Not Forgotten

<p>Derek Hansen Memorial</p>

Derek Hansen Memorial

Music rings from the halls of the Grandview Church of the Nazarene.

Officers from all across the region, spanning from as far up as Selah, to as far down as Richland -- attend today's memorial in honor of Derek Hansen.

Many shared memories and experience with hansen throughout his life.

"He would come down to my home, and kind of say 'hey Dave, can you tell me a police story?'" said Hansen's former mentor, Sgt. Dave Skelton.

Hansen passed away almost two weeks ago in Toppenish.

The Yakima County Coroner says Hansen died from an injury he sustained to his shoulder nearly three years ago while on duty -- a clot developed, which caused his heart to fail.

Hansen spent 15 years as an officer in both Zillah and Wapato -- over that stretch of time, he developed close relationships with many people in the industry, even providing security for his co-workers who worked the late shift.

"[Hansen] would meet me at the gas station to make sure nobody robbed me at night," said dispatcher Valerie Ibarra, "That's one of the things I remembered about him; he was always that person who went out of his way."

And as friends and family bid farewell to their hometown hero, they'll remember the man who brought life into their lives.

"He had a gregarious personality, a wonderful smile, and all he really wanted to do was go out there and help the people in the community," said Sgt. Skelton.

Hansen is survived by his son, colt, and his fiancee heather, his parents, and a sister.