This week is National Police Week, the time each year when names are added to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial walls in Washington, D.C.
Officer Tom Decker, whose murder Nov. 29, 2012, has not yet been solved, will become a part of the memorial to fallen police officers this week. His widow Alicia, his parents, and siblings and other family members are in D.C. to be a part of the ceremony.
This year, the names of 321 officers have been added to the memorial. Only three of those names are from Minnesota: Decker who was with the Cold Spring Police Department at the time of his death; Arthur Briggs of the Duluth P.D. (who died April 28, 1908); and Ole Havey of the Hayfield P.D. (who died Dec. 30, 1905).
Decker was shot behind a Cold Spring bar while answering a call late night Nov. 29. Authorities first arrested the man Decker was coming to help, and released him. A van that matched the description of eyewitnesses that night, and a .20-gauge shotgun were found on property to which another “person of interest” had access; but that man committed suicide in early January this year, before authorities were finished questioning him. The case remains unsolved.
Anyone with any information related to the case should call the Stearns County Sheriff’s Office at (320) 251-4240, or the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension tip line at (877) 996-6222. It’s possible to submit an anonymous tip on either of their websites.
Last month, the Minnesota Legislature passed a bill to rename Highway 23 from Cold Spring to Richmond, an 11-mile strip that Decker travelled many times a day, as “Tom Decker Memorial Highway.”
Decker was a Cold Spring police officer at the time of his murder. Prior to that, he had worked for Kimball and Watkins Police Departments.
Officer Tom Decker’s name has been added to a panel like this above at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, D.C., during this week’s National Police Week. Photo courtesy of National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund. Photo of Tom (above) is courtesy of Images by Marguerite.