One of the finest officers to patrol Eugene died five years ago on April 22 while protecting our community. Chris Kilcullen was smart, accomplished, fun and compassionate. He made everyone in his radius feel valued and respected. Chris once stopped at a drive-through to feed a homeless man he had just arrested. Aware of the jail’s schedule, Chris knew the man wouldn’t eat until the next morning. It’s one of countless stories describing his genuine compassion for others. He made friends of everyone he encountered, regardless of social standing. He was a dedicated public guardian who led by example, and even today has elevated the expectations to which we at EPD hold ourselves.
Chris gave his life protecting our communities. Chris’ family, friends and many others established and contribute to a scholarship in his name that furthers the education of people in Lane County who want to serve others. Chris’ legacy continues in those selected.
Chris had a gift for working with people in emotional crisis. That he was killed by an individual having a mental health break illustrates the danger officers face preserving the lives of armed people in crisis. Officers risk their lives to protect the community, knowing full well the risks.
It is an honor to be a member of our department and a privilege to have known Chris. His family inspires us and his legacy and spirit endure. We are better to have served alongside him. We miss you, Chris. You will never be forgotten