Reporting Reg Chapman
COLD SPRING, Minn. (WCCO) – They all had their own special reason from coming to the parking lot of the Wenner Funeral Home in Cold Spring.
With candles and flashlights in hand, police officers, friends, family, and even complete strangers — like Skip Halverson of Richmond — stood in an intimate circle to pay tribute to Officer Tom Decker.
“I’m close to some of the family members and just wanted to show my support,” Halverson said. “A lot of personal stories, interactions with him, a lot of prayers and singing.”
Our cameras were not allowed inside the circle to witness this celebration of Officer Decker’s life, but from the outside we could hear the cheers, the tears and the laughter.
“It wasn’t all sad times. It wasn’t all good times. It was a little bit of both. So they shared the good times, the bad times. Some of it with him on duty and some of them were with him off duty as well,” he said.
No one talked about how he died or the gunman. Instead they concentrated on how Officer Decker lived to protect and serve.
Elaine Welle came from Watkins, where officer Decker worked earlier in his career. She didn’t know him but felt she had to be there.
“He’s a young man that should have not lost his life this way,” Welle said. “I just feel very sorry for the family, for his kids. They lost daddy now.”
Officer Decker’s visitation is tomorrow. As many as 3,000 people from all over Minnesota are expected to attend his funeral this Wednesday.