Platte County Sheriff's Office

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Platte County Sheriff Office
Welcome to the Platte County Sheriff’s Office website.  We hope that the information provided here will help you learn more about our office and the wonderful community that we serve.  Please feel free to send us your comments or questions.
Platte County is a full service sheriff’s office providing all aspects of law enforcement, patrol, search and rescue, disaster services,  civil processing, prisoner transport, community service programs, records, and detention center for the entire Platte County area.

Mission Statement

The Platte County Sheriff’s Office exists to ensure public safety throughout our community. We make it our pledge to reduce the incidents and severity of crime wherever it is found. We Also pledge to serve the citizens of Platte County in a professional and responsible manner and respect the rights and dignity of all individuals.

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Memory of Deputy Chris Johnson

Law Enforcement Memorial

ceremony honors fallen officer

You'll never be forgotten.

Each of the speakers at the 2010 Nebraska Law Enforcement Memorial Day Ceremony touched on that theme either directly or indirectly during Monday morning ceremonies held inside Grand Island's Fire Station 1.

The service was dedicated to Platte County Deputy Christopher Johnson, who died in August 2009 while responding to the scene of a traffic accident.

Denice Wagner, wife of Nebraska State Trooper Mark Wagner, who died in the line of duty on March 4, 1999, talked about the support she and her family has received from law enforcement agencies all across the state of Nebraska.

She said that support takes the meaning of "you'll never be forgotten to a whole other level." Wagner said law enforcement personnel have been there for family weddings, graduations and hospital visits since her husband's death.

Wagner said grief becomes a little easier to bear when it can be shared with others. She said her daughters, who have since gone on to earn college degrees in the medical field, have talked with law enforcement officers, which has given them opportunities to share memories about their father.

Nebraska Lt. Gov. Rick Sheehy talked about the Nebraska Law Enforcement Memorial itself, located south of Fire Station 1 and just to the west of the new Nebraska State Fair. He noted the memorial, which was dedicated in 2009, will be seen by hundreds of thousands of people each year.

He said the memorial has the names of 131 law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty since 1866. Sheehy said there is no greater sacrifice than to give one's life in the service of others. He said the memorial serves not only as a monument to those law enforcement personnel who have died in the line of service, but to all the law enforcement personnel who carry on that tradition of service as they do their jobs.

Sheehy said law enforcement officers, as well as first responders in fire departments, ambulance crews and others, have been asked to do more since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

He said the physical memorial and the annual ceremony should also serve as a reminder of the sacrifices made by family members of law enforcement officers. Sheehy said those family members see their loved ones go off to work each day and can never be sure they will see them return.

Nebraska Secretary of State John Gale said last year's dedication ceremony of the physical memorial was held on a bright and shiny day when those who were present "felt the hope of the future." Monday's dark and rainy weather, which forced the ceremony indoors, is a reminder of the sacrifice law enforcement officers sometimes must make.

For law enforcement, Gale said, there are "days of hope and days of sadness and loss."

Gale praised the new Nebraska Law Enforcement Memorial for its "wonderful sense of permanence." He said people who visit Nebraska's memorial will "know it is sacred ground." Gale said in his role as Nebraska Secretary of State, he has had the opportunity to visit many state and national memorials and monuments.

He said he particularly loves the Nebraska Law Enforcement Memorial because it has the names of individuals who have given their lives protecting the citizens of Nebraska. Gale said he finds memorials with names to be among the most meaningful to him.

Gale expressed his appreciation for the bagpipers who played to open Monday's ceremony. He said the music reminded him of the Normandy invasion when bagpipe players performed music to give troops courage for the invasion they were about to undertake, when they knew many among them would die during the coming battle.

Gale talked about the his lifetime of respect for those in law enforcement. As a child, he always waved at law enforcement officers. As an adult, Gale said, he still waves to law enforcement officers to express his respect and appreciation.

Platte County Sheriff Jon Zavadil recounted Chris Johnson's law enforcement career, including the various law enforcement jobs he worked before joining the Platte County Sheriff's Office. Johnson was the Platte County Sheriff's Employee of the Year in 2006. Zavadil also remembered the fallen officer as a person, noting Johnson always seemed to have a smile on his face.

Just before he gave the final benediction, Lincoln County/North Platte Chaplain Gary Smith quoted an inscription from the National Law Enforcement Memorial. He said the quote from survivor Vivian Eney Cross both honors those who have died in the line of duty and serves as a charge to those in law enforcement or wanting to join the ranks of law enforcement.

Smith said the quote from Cross said, "It is not how these officers died that made them heroes, it is how they lived."


Platte County Sheriff's Office   
2610 14th Street
Columbus, NE 68601