Growing up in Anoka County, MN his seventh grade, his good looks were the highlight of the last hour of seventh grade history class and together towards the middle of the classroom, we engaged in devil may care activity of shooting staples into the air and watch them land. Neither of us anticipate that one staple would land on our teacher. Hence, two weeks of detention ensued. His journey took him into law enforcement and used his contagious personality to work as a liaison officer in the state next door, South Dakota. His life changed forever just a few weeks ago on August 2, 2011. It was a typical DUI stop that turned into anything but. There would be one officer who didn’t make it through the day and another who died at the hospital. My childhood friend, Officer Doyle was shot towards the temple part of the face and entered his jawline and there will be bullet fragments in his body for a time to come, if not for life. It is a miracle that Tim is alive.
If you drive a few minutes North, you cross the county line into Isanti County, MN where another miracle occurred. Sheriff Deputy Chad Meyer, my neighbor at the time, was directing traffic at the scene of an accident when he was struck by a car going way too fast. He woke up in the ICU in the cities full of staples, body parts fractured, cuts in all sorts of places from flying far and high into the air. And after weeks in the hospital and time in rehab, he is still our man in brown cruising the town and I for one, am glad. Unfortunately, not all of our town’s heroes have a miracle ending that resulted of life here on Earth.
Another hometown hero from Isanti County, MN, was killed on his post as Sheriff’s Deputy in Mahnomen , MN. He, like Officer Doyle was responding to a DUI on February 18, 2009 and was shot in the head and in the abdomen. After many operations and rehab time spent in Colorado, he was brought back and placed in hospice. He passed away in the loving care of his family and friends here in our small town 18 months later. These are people that I know just in my neck of the woods. This is how the boys next door turn into heroes to all. If you talked to them, you’d find the same color of thread in the stories they weave, they wanted to be a cop since they were young. There is a dedication behind their determination to live or to live as long as possible. There is an honor in their sacrifice. There is a noble quality to the fight to stay alive. Thank you for being so brave. For doing the work that most would not want. For rushing in when others are rushing out. For giving of your best to serve us. Thank you