FAIRMONT - The flags in Minnesota will be flying at half-staff today in honor of Scott Patrick, the 47-year-old Mendota Heights police officer shot and killed a week ago during a traffic stop.
Truman Police Chief Justin Jobe and two Fairmont officers will join thousands of other law enforcement personnel who will be on hand to pay their respects.
"This is my sixth or seventh [officer's funeral] since I've been a cop," said Jobe, who has been in law enforcement for 15 years. "Some of them have been friends."
"We have personally made contact with the family," said Lt. Del Ellis of the Fairmont Police Department. "We're sending two officers."
Ellis said more officers would like to attend, but it would create a personnel shortage in the department.
The Fairmont officer knows first-hand the procedure involved with funeral services for law enforcement personnel. Ellis was part of the Law Enforcement Memorial Honor Guard for many years.
The church where Patrick's service will be holds about 400 people, and will be filled with family, friends and his immediate co-workers. All other law enforcement personnel will meet at a high school in Mendota Heights.
"They'll have a procession to the church and to the internment after," Ellis said.
"It's an eye-opener" when an officer is killed in the line of duty, Jobe said.
"But you don't get in this job to become rich; you believe in it, and that's what drives you," he said.
"It's very sad, very sad," Ellis said. "We need to support this family."
"It's tragic," Jobe said. "We may not live in Chicago, Los Angeles or New York, but it can happen here. It can happen anywhere."
Patrick is survived by his wife, Michelle; two teenage daughters, Erin and Amy; and other family members.
More information on supporting the families of slain officers is available at the Officer Down memorial page at www.odmp.org or the Minnesota Law Enforcement Memorial Association at mnlema.org