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St. Paul City Council accepts police officers memorial

A planned memorial to the 31 St. Paul police officers who've died in the line of duty was accepted Wednesday by the St.  Paul City Council.

The memorial, a "Wall of Honor," will go up inside the entrance to the police headquarters building and will be interactive, with an iPad that displays information about each of the officers.

Council Member Dan Bostrom, a retired St. Paul police officer, suspended the rules at Wednesday's meeting to accept the memorial.

The St. Paul Police Historical Society has raised about $20,000 already, mostly from the police community. They're seeking about $5,000 more before installation, to complete the interactive portion of the memorial.

The  goal is to have the memorial in place by May, in time for Police Officers Memorial Week, said Kate Cavett, an oral historian who's treasurer of the police historical society.

The memorial will start with  Officer Daniel O'Connell, who died of gunfire in 1882, and end with Sgt. Gerald Vick, who was shot and killed in 2005.

Police records show the officers died of these causes:

  • 15-Gunfire
  • 4-Automobile accident
  • 3-Motorcycle accident
  • 3-Vehicular assault
  • 1-Animal related
  • 1-Assault:
  • 1-Electrocuted:
  • 1-Fall:
  • 1-Heart attack
  • 1-Struck by streetcar

The interactive portion of the memorial will include pictures and facts about the officers, including such things as the speech made by Chief John Harrington at Vick's funeral.

"We're still researching; there's not a lot of information on the early officers, and we're still looking for the picture of one," said Cavett, of Hand in Hand Productions, which creates oral histories.

The memorial has been designed to accommodate 15 more names, although Cavett said she hopes that space won't be needed.

And it's designed to be easily moved, should the police headquarters ever be moved to a new building.

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