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Honoring fallen law enforcement heroes in western North Carolina

Stevin Westcott
National Forests in North Carolina, U.S. Forest Service
March 28, 2014 at 1:00pm

A photo of Honor Guard members begin to fold the U.S. Forest Service and North Carolina State flags

Honor Guard members begin to fold the U.S. Forest Service and North Carolina State flags during a memorial ceremony for Officer Jason Crisp and his K-9 partner Maros. (Courtesy of Mario Rossilli)

Law-enforcement peers, U.S. Forest Service employees, dignitaries and friends gathered at the McDowell County High School in Marion, N.C. on March 17 to honor Forest Service law enforcement officer Jason Crisp and his K-9 partner, Maros. Among the memorial service attendees were 75 K-9 officers and their partners who paid tribute to both fallen officers. 

U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell and North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory were also among the thousands who filled the school’s gymnasium.

Crisp and Maros were shot and killed on March 12 pursuing a suspect who, just hours earlier, had killed his father and step-mother. As they had so many times before, Crisp and Maros were working to keep the Grandfather Ranger District, Pisgah National Forest, and surrounding area safe.

“Jason was happy being with his family, and he was happy serving his community,” the Rev. Charles Dicks said. “He cared about the agency, and he cared about his coworkers.”


A photo of The memorial ceremony for U.S. Forest Service Law Enforcement Officer Jason Crisp and his K-9 partner Maros

The memorial ceremony for U.S. Forest Service Law Enforcement Officer Jason Crisp and his K-9 partner Maros was attended by 75 officers and their K-9 partners. Thousands of people packed into a high school to pay their respects. (Courtesy of Mario Rossilli)

These were common themes shared by speakers at the ceremony. They described the 38-year-old Crisp as a devoted husband, a loving father of two and a kind-hearted man who helped others.

A Forest Service law enforcement officer for eight years, Crisp was a man of strong faith, whose spirituality served as the foundation for how he approached life. He and Maros performed their duties with honor, courage and dignity.  

One of Jason’s family members shared the following story prior to the ceremony. 

“The last time I saw Jason, he came to my house and spent a couple of hours with me; but he was upset at me,” the grieving family member said. “I had recently helped another family member with some house work, and Jason was upset that I didn’t call to ask for his help… That’s the type of person Jason was.”

Thousands packed into the McDowell County High School to pay tribute to Forest Service Law Enforcement Officer Jason Crisp and his K-9 partner Maros.

Thousands packed into the McDowell County High School to pay tribute to Forest Service Law Enforcement Officer Jason Crisp and his K-9 partner Maros. (Courtesy of Mario Rossilli)

March 12 was Jason’s day off. When he received the call about a murder suspect who was on the loose, Jason didn’t hesitate to respond. Maros assisted in the call, and it was the last time the two would answer the call of duty. Despite the tragic outcome, the two officers are not separated. Jason was laid to rest on March 17 with Maros’ ashes placed in an urn in his arms.

They will be missed by the people who knew and loved them in western North Carolina. Crisp is survived by his wife Amanda and two young sons.

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