Cold Spring honors legacy of Ofc. Tom Decker

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The Cold Spring community is remembering the life and legacy of a fallen officer who died 10 years ago by announcing a future statue that will honor police officers who died across Minnesota.

Cold Spring Officer Tom Decker, who was 31 years old at the time, was shot and killed while responding to a welfare check in 2012.

“My mom called. It was about one or two in the morning and she said that Tom was shot,” Eddie Decker, Tom Decker’s brother, said.

Those were three words Decker never wanted to hear.

He got the call from his mom in November 2012 that his younger brother was killed in the line of duty.

“The first thing that came to my mind was oh, those poor kids. Tom’s four little kids because they sure did love him,” Eddie said.

The Decker family said 10 years ago, they held a visitation service and the community showed up in droves to honor Tom’s life.

10 years later, that support is still strong.

The Deckers, community members and lawmakers gathered in St. Boniface Catholic Church to honor fallen officers across the state.

“Amazing. It’s great to see the turnout. We have people from across the country that come here just to be able to say thank you,” Paul Waletzko, event organizer, said.

That gratitude from the community funded a future memorial that will honor Officer Decker and other officers who died in Minnesota. People raised over $60,000 to bring the idea to life.

Family members of fallen officers explained memories fade, but the community keeps the legacy of their loved ones alive.

“It’s hard to believe that people that live in our community are raising this money for this memorial,” Eddie said. “It’s remarkable.”

The organizer said in about a year, the memorial to honor fallen police officers will stand tall in front of Cold Spring City Hall.

Any additional funds will go toward scholarships for students with hopes to go into law enforcement.