ASHLAND, Ore.– For over 20 years, one local police officer served and protected the small community of Ashland.
Last Friday though, Ashland Police Officer Malcus Williams passed away after experiencing a medical emergency while responding to a call.
To those that knew him, the loss weighs heavy.
“One of those people, like I said, he was a rock. You could count on him,” said Karl Kemper, athletic director for Ashland High School. “You always knew he was going to be there and it’s really shocking that… that he’s not here.”
A husband, a brother, a father and an officer, Malcus Williams touched the lives of many.
“Malcus was that rare police officer that is universally liked,” said Chief Tighe O’Meara, APD. “You will not find a person in the city of Ashland or Jackson County that has anything bad to say about Malcus.”
While Officer Williams may be gone, those who knew him say he left a legacy of kindness.
“He sat in his car and I kind of leaned in and we just had the best conversation about just everything, from life to my future,” said Brighton Litjens, an alumni of AHS. “He just was really curious about talking to me and being a good person.”
Williams was more than an officer to the community as well. With three daughters in the Ashland School District, Williams made it his duty to make sure he was always there for them in whatever passion they pursued, such as coaching for basketball or cheering from the sidelines.
“His life revolved around his kids and his family,” said Kemper. “He worked nights and I think he did that so that he could be available for his kids all the time.”
That support for his own family even carried over to others including the children who protested the Ashland Public Library closure in 2007.
When the children refused to leave, instead of being forceful, WIlliams sat down and read them stories.
“And he said ‘But you know the librarians have to go home and we do have to close the library, do you think that that’s OK,'” said Amy Blossom, former manager of the Ashland Public Library. “And they said, ‘No, we’re not ready yet.’ And he said, ‘OK well let me get some books.’ So then he read them some stories.”
Residents remember Officer Williams as a man who would be there with a smile on his face and outstretched hand ready to help.
“Thank you,” said Kemper. “Thank you for your service. Thank you for your contributions to the community. Thank you for being a loving and involved father and husband. Just… thank you.”
A public memorial to remember the life of Officer Williams will be held on March 17 at 11 a.m. in the Ashland High School gymnasium.