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PRESS RELEASE: Second Washington Corrections Employee Dies from COVID-19

Released December 30, 2020

Contact Susan Biller

Department of Corrections

portrait photo of David Christensen

Correctional Officer David A. Christensen

TUMWATER – The Washington State Department of Corrections was notified that Correctional Officer David A. Christensen, 62 years of age, passed away on Tuesday, December 29, 2020, from complications of COVID-19.

“It is with deep sadness that we announce the loss of Correctional Officer David Christensen due to COVID-19. Our hearts go out to Officer Christensen’s grieving family and honor the sacrifice they have made,” said Stephen Sinclair, Secretary of Corrections. “It is a tragedy to lose a member of our public safety community and correctional family.”

Officer Christensen had most recently worked for the department since May 2020 after having previously worked for the department from 2015-2017 at the Clallam Bay and Stafford Creek corrections centers. Officer Christensen had a long career in corrections and criminal justice, working over the years for the Oregon Department of Corrections, Grays Harbor County Jail, Aberdeen Police Department and the Grays Harbor County Juvenile Department.

“I personally knew Dave for several years and he always impressed me with his leadership skills and his desire to support his fellow officers,” said Ron Haynes, Superintendent at Stafford Creek Corrections Center. “Dave’s humble nature and interest in maintaining safety of those at the facility were very much in line with the department’s values. Dave was a good man and will be missed by all of us who had the honor of working with and knowing him.”

The department will review Officer Christensen’s death as a possible line of duty death. For that review, the department will consult with the following entities: Public Safety Officers’ Benefits Program, National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial, Washington State Law Enforcement Memorial-Behind the Badge Foundation and the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries.