Ramsey County to pay respects to fallen officers

Roseville Police Lt. Lorne Rosand and officer Tom Pitzel presented a wreath May 12, 2016, at the Suburban Ramsey County Law Enforcement Memorial Ceremony in Maplewood.



Observant drivers have likely seen a sign on the Maplewood stretch of Highway 36 that reads “Sergeant Joseph Bergeron Memorial Highway.” 

Naming a segment of a road in honor of a fallen police officer is one way state lawmakers commemorate those who have “paid the ultimate price.” Such signs can take years to emerge from cross-jurisdictional bureaucracies. 

One simple way residents can honor law enforcement officials who have died in the line of duty is to attend an upcoming event.

The New Brighton Department of Public Safety is hosting the sixth annual Suburban Ramsey County Law Enforcement Memorial Day Ceremony on Thursday, May 18.

The ceremony will honor members of law enforcement agencies throughout suburban Ramsey County who have died in the line of duty.

According to the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office, nine officers have paid that price; that does not, however, include St. Paul officers.

“As a community, it’s important to remember these law enforcement officers who died seeking to keep the peace that our citizens enjoy in suburban Ramsey County,” said Tony Paetznick, New Brighton’s director of public safety. 

“These fallen heroes were willing to stand in those gaps where most ordinary people would not want to find themselves, between the adversaries of good and evil, in locations that were dangerous, and for purposes that ultimately served a greater good in our society.”

The ceremony, to which all are welcome, is set to begin at 11 a.m. and will take place at Salem Coventant Church at 2655 Fifth St. NW in New Brighton. It should last about an hour and refreshments will be served immediately following the service. 


‘Fallen heroes’ 

On May 1, 2010, Maplewood Police Sgt. Joseph Bergeron was shot and killed while attempting to question two suspects about a carjacking.

On Oct. 25, 2009, Ramsey County reserve deputy Mike Wilken died of injuries sustained when he was hit by a vehicle while directing traffic on White Bear Avenue.

On Sept. 7, 2009, North St. Paul police officer Richard Crittenden Sr. was shot and killed while responding to a domestic dispute.  

On March 2, 1988, Ramsey County Lt. Earl Kennicutt died of a heart attack while on duty. 

On Jan. 28, 1971, Ramsey County Sgt. Leslie Rosengren was shot and killed while escorting a 17-year-old to the holding unit at the sheriff’s office.

On May 16, 1982, Roseville police officer Bruce Russell died of injuries sustained after he was shot by an individual wanted on felony warrants for aggravated assault. 

On Aug. 16, 1972, Roseville police juvenile officer Howard Johnson died after he was shot by an individual he was chasing wanted for the armed robbery of a bank. 

On Oct. 13, 1958, Ramsey County deputy Kenneth Johnson died in a car accident after his vehicle went out of control during a car chase at Victoria Street and Lake Owasso Boulevard. 

On Jan. 6, 1955, North St. Police Chief Walter Hause died of a heart attack while on duty.


Jesse Poole can be reached at jpoole@lillienews.com or at 651-748-7815.





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