'Backing the Blue Line' Prepares Blue Roses for Officer Scott Patrick's Funeral

Updated: 08/03/2014 8:48 PM
Created: 08/02/2014 8:14 PM
By: Beth McDonough

Minnesotans are pausing this weekend to remember an officer killed in the line of duty this week.

Scott Patrick with the Mendota Heights Police Department was shot and killed during a traffic stop in West. St. Paul on Wednesday.

The tragic scene is now an expanding memorial to his life and his service, and there's even more outpouring of support from a group known as "Backing the Blue Line."

The organization is an all-women, all-volunteer group with 400-plus members in Minnesota; they're wives of Twin Cities metro-area officers who offer emotional and financial support - plus understanding. 

Jennifer Whiteford and Jessica Knutson understand more than most the risks of life as a police wife.

"My mind goes to, 'Is it my husband?' It could be one of us at any point in time," Knutson said.

Knutson's husband works for the Blaine Police Department, and Whiteford's husband works for the Plymouth Police Department. Although they wear different badges from different departments, at the end of the day, when one law enforcement spouse like Michelle Patrick grieves, they all grieve.

"Police officers have a brotherhood and sisterhood. As their spouse, we're part of that family, too," Whiteford said.

Backing the Blue Line also provides flowers at the funerals of fallen officers, deputies and state troopers. In the past three years, those have included Lake City Officer Shawn Schneider, Officer Tom Decker of Cold Spring, and Josh Lynaugh of St. Paul.

The organization has paid for hundreds of white roses that they will spray paint blue on Tuesday and hand out at Officer Patrick's funeral Wednesday. His visitation will take place from 2 to 8 p.m. at St. Stephen's Lutheran Church in West St. Paul on Tuesday. His funeral is set for 11 a.m. Wednesday at the same location.

"I know it's just a rose, but it's something I can hold onto forever," Knutson said.

The flowers include a message: "Heroes Live Forever. 2231, Never Forgotten." It's a reference to Officer Patrick's badge number with Mendota Heights. 

Their dedication doesn't end with the funeral; the families will also get a memorial card every month for a year. 

"That fades away, and we want them to know they're not forgotten," the women said.

Minneapolis/St. Paul

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