RMEF honors wounded deputies

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(Photo courtesy TERRY LAMB) Bonner County Sheriff’s deputies Mike Gagnon and Justin Penn were honored by the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation on Saturday. Pictured, from left, are Julie Gagnon, Deputy Mike Gagnon, Deputy Justin Penn, Leah Penn, Diane Wheeler, and Bonner County Sheriff Daryl Wheeler.

SANDPOINT — Bonner County Idaho Sheriff’s Deputies Mike Gagnon and Justin Penn and their spouses were honored as special guests of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation at the RMEF annual banquet Saturday evening at the Bonner County Fairgrounds.

Both deputies received serious multiple gunshot wounds while attempting to serve warrants in western Bonner County on Jan. 16 2017, and are currently on leave as their long road to recovery continues.

Bonner County Sheriff Daryl Wheeler saluted the strength and valor of the deputies and introduced them to standing ovations from the crowd of some 300 RMEF members and attendees.

“There is no conceivable way we, the citizens of Bonner County, can adequately state our gratitude for what these men especially, and all law enforcement officers in general, do and risk for us every day. Those risks so obviously burden their spouses and families as well,” said RMEF event chairman Terry Lamb. “We just wanted to let them know how our hearts and prayers are with them, though our recognition of them seems totally inadequate in view of their sacrifices for us.”

RMEF is a national organization dedicated to wildlife and habitat conservation, and is headquartered in Missoula, Montana.

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