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A law enforcement procession Monday evening returned Cowlitz County sheriff's deputy Justin DeRosier from Clark County to Kelso, where he grew up wanting to become an officer.

The vehicle bearing him from Vancouver was flanked by firefighters, police and scores of ordinary citizens from around the region.

Overlooking the procession from Grade Street, Cowlitz 2 Fire & Rescue Battalion Chief Bert Thayer said the event was an important way of showing unity among agencies in a time of grief.

"It's the unified team concept," Thayer said. "In our county, it's a pretty close-knit relationship."

Dozens of law enforcement vehicles escorted DeRosier on his journey from Clark County. The procession made its way through Allen Street before ending at the Dahl-McVicker Funeral Home in Kelso. 

One woman overlooking the procession from the Grade Street - Interstate 5 overpass said her immediate family includes a Cowlitz 6 fire and rescue member, a Castle Rock police officer and a sheriff's deputy. 

"It's the least I can do to stand out here," said the woman, who declined to give her name. "I wish I could do more."

DeRosier was shot late Saturday after making a routine traffic investigation in Kalama. He succumbed to his injuries later that night. The 29-year-old Kelso High School graduate was married with a five-month-old daughter.

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