May 12, 2011

Five Law Officers Killed in Line of Duty Remembered at State Capitol Ceremony

Five Missouri law enforcement officers who died in the line of duty during 2010 were memorialized on May 7th at a ceremony at the Law Enforcement Memorial, on the north grounds of the State Capitol, overlooking the Missouri River.

The names of Chief Paul Jeffrey Fricke, Sergeant Joseph George Schuengel, Deputy Donald McCutcheon, Officer David Aaron Haynes and Officer Dan De Kraai were added to the Law Enforcement Memorial Wall.

Two of the fallen officers had local ties. McCutcheon, a native of Wyaconda, also had served as a part-time office for the City of Memphis. De Kraai, was married to the former Laura Erickson, a graduate of Scotland County R-I High School.

The names of two other Missouri law enforcement officers who died before 2010 were also added to the Law Enforcement Memorial Wall: Sheriff Bernard Joseph Berghager and Officer Glennon Robert Fernau.

"The officers we memorialize today came from very different law enforcement agencies and communities, but they were united in the commitment that they made to serve, protect, and to make their fellow citizens safer," said Gov. Jay Nixon. "The brave men and women of law enforcement are society's true heroes and role models because of their devotion to duty, their valorous service and selfless sacrifice."

"The officers we honor today, like all in law enforcement, knew the risks that came each day when they put on their uniform and badge," said Department of Public Safety Director John M. Britt. "Each of them made the ultimate sacrifice to protect their fellow Missourians and to make their communities better places to live. We can never repay the debt we owe them and their families."

Families of the fallen and law enforcement agencies from across Missouri participated in the annual event by placing wreaths at the memorial wall.

On Friday, May 6 a candlelight vigil in honor of all Missouri law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty was held at the Law Enforcement Memorial.

McCutcheon was working for the Clark County Sheriff's Department when he passed away February 8, 2010 at the age of 36.

Deputy McCutcheon suffered a fatal heart attack after reporting to work on Monday, Feb. 8. After answering several calls of service he was clearing the front steps of snow to make it accessible to the public. Minutes after he began shoveling he felt ill and drove himself to a nearby rescue squad. Upon arrival, EMS personnel evaluated Deputy McCutcheon's condition and he collapsed. Paramedics immediately performed life saving measures and transported him to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.

De Kraai an officer with the St. Joseph police department, passed away September 15, 2010.

Officer De Kraai was fatally shot after another officer's handgun discharged during a break at a training course. During the break, a fellow officer was demonstrating something with his handgun. The officer's handgun accidently discharged, striking Officer De Kraai in the back. Officer De Kraai was transported to a hospital where he was pronounced dead.

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