Fallen officers remembered at law enforcment memorial

Anoka County police officers killed in the line of duty were honored during a memorial service last week.

Members of the Anoka County Sheriff’s Office Honor Guard prepare to present the colors.
Members of the Anoka County Sheriff’s Office Honor Guard prepare to present the colors.

The Anoka County Sheriff’s Office hosts the law enforcement memorial service annually at the Anoka County Government Center to honor those officers killed in the line of duty and to offer support to the survivors left behind.

It takes place in conjunction with National Peace Officer Memorial Day, which President John F. Kennedy designated as May 15 in 1962. Each year, the week in which May 15 falls is recognized as National Police Week.

The May 15 event began with a procession of squad cars from St. Francis to the Anoka County Government Center. The procession began near the spot where St. Francis Police Chief Gerald Boos was shot and killed June 10, 1967 after responding with another officer to a field party call.

“Chief Boos’ sacrifice and that of his family and the St. Francis Police Department will not be forgotten,” said Anoka County Sheriff James Stuart.

In 2012, 127 officers nationwide were killed in the line of duty.

“Every officer who lost their life was loved by someone,” Stuart said.

Speaker at the event was Vicki Wendel, program manager of the Anoka County Historical Society.

Wendel has done considerable research on law enforcement in Anoka County and has compiled stories and the history into a book that will come out later this year.

In all that research, Wendell said there are some qualities that all of the law enforcement officers have in common. Those qualities include compassion, a sense of humor, graciousness and good problem solving skills, she said.

“The bravest thing they ever do is put on that uniform every day,” Wendell said.

Anoka County fallen officers

Verl C. Whinery, Anoka Police Department, Jan. 18, 1947

Ernest Zettergren, Anoka County Sheriff’s Office, Dec. 7, 1953

Gerald Boos, St. Francis Police Department, June 10, 1967

Curtis Ramsdell, Columbia Heights Police Department, July 30, 1977

Richard E. Legler, Anoka County Sheriff’s Office, Aug. 9, 1986

Timothy Bowe, Minnesota State Patrol, June 6, 1997

Shawn Silvera, Lino Lakes Police Department, Sept. 6, 2005

Squad cars park in front of the Anoka County Government Center after a procession from near where St. Francis Police Chief Gerald Boos was killed in 1967. Photos by Kelly Johnson A wreath and roses lay ready to honor Anoka County’s fallen officers. Members of the Anoka County Sheriff’s Office Honor Guard prepare to present the colors. Those in attendance stand at attention while members of the Anoka High School choir sing the national anthem. Fridley Police Chief Don Abbott recites the law enforcement memorial prayer. Vickie Wendel, program manager for the Anoka County Historical Society, was the keynote speaker. A rose is pinned on the memorial wreath in honor of Verl C. Whinery, an Anoka Police officer killed Jan. 18, 1947. Each flower on the wreath represents an Anoka County police officer killed in the line of duty. Rev. Mike Van Sloun from the Church of St. Stephen gives the benediction. Sheriff James Stuart stands at attention while “Taps” is played. Dennis Skrade played the bagpipes at the commencement and conclusion of the law enforcement memorial service May 15.
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Squad cars park in front of the Anoka County Government Center after a procession from near where St. Francis Police Chief Gerald Boos was killed in 1967. Photos by Kelly Johnson

Kelly Johnson is at [email protected]