Jake Gutierrez, a slain Tacoma police officer, was larger than life.
The big smile that beamed nonstop. His kind gestures to strangers and loved ones. His dedication to the job.
And now, his badge.
The Puyallup Police Department recently commissioned a metal worker to make a 3-by-2-foot replica of Gutierrez’s badge and presented it to the Tacoma Police Department.
“It wasn’t a Puyallup police officer, but the profession is pretty tight and when you lose an officer, it impacts everybody,” Puyallup police Chief Bryan Jeter said. “We wanted to do something to honor his memory and help out with the grieving process.”
Tacoma police have not decided where to display the art piece.
Weighing more than 10 pounds, the steel badge reads “police officer” above the city’s seal with “Tacoma police” printed below.
Although Gutierrez’s name is not on the replica, his call number – 044 – is.
The department memorialized Gutierrez’s number so it cannot be reassigned to another officer.
Kathy McAlpine, an assistant Tacoma police chief, said the department was grateful for the gift and will be honored to display it at police headquarters on South Pine Street.
“The outpouring of support we have received from our law enforcement agencies and our community is greatly appreciated,” she said.
Joshua Buffington, owner of Man Cave Metal Works, said he drew the badge replica from a photograph and spent five to six hours completing the piece.
It was paid by donations from the Puyallup Police Association, Puyallup Police Management Association and the Office of Chief of Police.
Gutierrez, 45, was fatally shot Nov. 30 while responding to a domestic disturbance on the city’s East Side. The gunman was killed by a sheriff’s marksman after an 11-hour standoff.
Stacia Glenn: 253-597-8653