With heavy hearts, the Washington State Patrol confirms the loss of Trooper Justin R. Schaffer, Badge #646.
Trooper Schaffer passed away today, March 24, 2020, at the age of 28 after serving 7 years with the State Patrol. He was fatally struck by a vehicle while placing spike strips down on Interstate 5 in Chehalis. He is survived by his wife, Sandra, his mother and father Sheila and Glenn and his brother Brandon, and his K9 partner Frankie. Our hearts go out to this grieving family and we recognize the unique sacrifice they have offered to our state as Justin’s father, Glenn is currently the Chief of Police in the City of Chehalis.
Trooper Schaffer was born on January 30, 1992, in Glenwood Springs, CO. He graduated from Adna High School in Adna, Washington. Justin received a degree in Criminal Justice from Centralia College.
He began working for the Washington State Patrol on November 12, 2013, as a Trooper Cadet assigned to the Property Management Division.
On January 13, 2014, Trooper Schaffer started his training with the 27th Arming Class. On February 14, 2014, he continued his training with the 103rd Trooper Basic Training Class and was commissioned on September 16, 2014, assigned to Morton. On September 1, 2016, he was assigned as a certified Drug Recognition Expert. On November 10, 2018, he completed K9 training and was a certified K9 handler to his partner “Frankie.” On December 13, 2018, Trooper Schaffer transferred to Chehalis.
Justin is the 30th member of the Washington State Patrol family to die in the line of duty in the agency’s 99 years of service to this state. WSP Chief John R. Batiste remarked, “In his last moments on the earth, he was wearing the uniform of the Washington State Patrol. We must pause and reflect on the character of each of the men and women we have lost over the years. Like Justin, they each served as one of the state’s guardians and each day of their work, they walked into unknown dangers with well-known courage.” He added, “We will never forget him. Never…”
A memorial service is pending. Due to the Covid 19 restrictions on public gatherings, the Washington State Patrol will work with the family and consider how to best move forward in honoring our lost Trooper appropriately. We will make that information available to the public in the days to come. All WSP personnel are authorized to wear mourning bands until the conclusion of a memorial service.
For now, we ask the public to join us as we bow our heads in sadness and feel the beating of so many proud hearts for this fallen hero.