Injured Kittitas officer out of surgery, recovering at Harborview

SEATTLE– Flown from Kittitas County to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, Kittitas Officer Benito Chavez is now recovering from a gun shot that fractured his femur.  Susan Gregg with Harborview Medical Center says orthopedic injuries take a long time to heal.

“He did have a procedure [Wednesday], he’s just getting out of surgery and he’ll go back to his room and he’ll still be listed as satisfactory condition,” said Gregg.

No date for when he might be discharged, but he’ll work with physical therapists right away to ensure a speedy recovery.  He’ll have help to recover from his Police Chief Chris Taylor.

“I’d like to reach out to him and his family, our prayers and thoughts are with them while they struggle through this,” said Taylor.

Chavez isn’t alone. The Public Information Officer for Kittitas County Sheriff’s Office says Chavez has a wife with a baby on the way.  Tuesday night and Wednesday, officers and deputies from agencies across the state stopped by the hospital.

“When you’ve experienced a trauma you’re just like coming to grips with it, and then sometimes you see patients all of a sudden two or three days later it hits hard. So having family obviously and supporters from fellow officers, all of that helps,” said Gregg.

There are only three cops in the city of Kittitas Police Department.  That’s why Washington State Trooper Rick Johnson says there’s a close tie between all agencies.

“In that area where this occurred, troopers and deputies and city police work very close together and it’s hitting all of us,” said Johnson.

Chavez was just hired as a full-time officer in July, already putting his life on the line to protect and serve.

“He’s a respected officer.  He’s a 22-year-old man who provides this community with the protection that it deserves,” said Taylor.

Whenever someone from law enforcement is injured in the line of duty, we see this community effort to support that person and their family.

Donation accounts to help Chavez's family as well as the family of slain Kittitas County Deputy Ryan Thompson have been set up at US Bank. The Kittitas County Sheriff's Office says those wishing to make a donation can do so at any US Bank branch, either in person or by mailing a check.

You can make donations to the following accounts: Chavez Family Fund, Thompson Family Fund, and Thompson Memorial Fund.

You can also send messages to Officer Chavez by going to Harborview Medical Center’s Email a Patient.  Those messages will be delivered to Officer Chavez daily.

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