Luncheon Held to Remember Those Lost in Line of Duty
DULUTH, Minn. – This week is National Police Week, used to remember those who died while in the line of duty.
For Duluth, this means an annual luncheon hosted by the St. Louis County Law Enforcement Chaplaincy. With one year not taking place due to COVID, this was their 33rd event. The first took place in 1990 following the death of Duluth Police Sergeant Gary Wilson.
Duluth Police Chief Chaplain Father John Petrich says their 14 members assist departments whenever they are needed. “We’re 911 driven. When officers need help at a scene, whatever incident they might be at, our chaplains will respond. We do crisis management with them. We do family work with them. They are very talented. And some of the good stuff; marriage, baptisms, things like that.”
Father Petrich says they do their part to get to know the officers they work with through visits and ride along in vehicles. These efforts are to ensure those responding to calls can handle the stresses that come while on duty.
“No one wants to get hurt on the job, either physically, mentally, or spiritually,” says Father Petrich. “Our whole focus in life is how do we lift that terrible thing that just happened, a car accident or a stabbing or whatever; how do you lift that so that it doesn’t become the dread of the day. That’s what we’re here for.”
There have been eight Duluth Police officers and three St. Louis County Sheriff’s deputies killed in the line of duty over the years. The last death for Duluth Police was Sergeant Gary Dale Wilson on April 10, 1990. The last death for St. Louis County Sheriff’s was Deputy Sheriff Bradley Alan Anderson on September 2, 2002.