Chehalis Police Officer Dies After Surgery for Injury Sustained on Duty


The Chehalis Police Department announced Friday that veteran officer Rick Silva died of complications from surgery aimed at addressing an injury he sustained while on duty in February.

Silva started his law enforcement career in 1988 at the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. He started working at the Chehalis Police Department in 2002. He worked as a field training officer, emergency vehicle driving instructor and detective.

“Officer Silva died after complications in surgery, yesterday, June 18, just one day prior to his 13th year service anniversary with our police department,” a press release stated. “Officer Silva was responding to a theft in progress this past February at a Chehalis retail store when the suspect, who had been concealing a knife, resisted arrest, causing more damage to a previous hip injury he acquired while on duty. Because of this, the injury intensified, triggering the need for surgery.”

The surgery resulted in complications that led to his death.

The department, along with other law enforcement agencies and aid organizations, honored Silva as it would any officer who dies in the line of duty, escorting him with a motorcade to a funeral home Friday.

“Officer Silva was beloved not just by his family, fellow officers and co-workers, but also by the many many people in our community whose lives he touched,” a Facebook post from the department reads. “Officer Silva’s passing leaves us all without his infectious smile, his playful sense of humor, his passion for justice, and his generosity, as he was always willing to lend a helping hand to anyone in need. Our lives have been enriched just through the joy of knowing him.”

Community members can donate money to Silva’s family at Security State Bank locations.

The Lewis County Fallen Heroes Board of Directors’ mission is to assist the family of any fallen law enforcement or emergency services worker in the county, said Debbie Campbell, executive director of United Way of Lewis County.

United Way, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, handles the donations. All of the donations will be given to Silva’s family. Checks should be made out to United Way of Lewis County with “In Memory of Officer Silva” in the memo line.

Details on funeral services will be released next week, according to the press release.