AITKIN, Minn. (WCCO) — Three months since an officer was killed in the line of duty, Aitkin County area law enforcement is hoping to create a permanent way to remember Investigator Steven Sandberg.
Sandberg was a 24-year law enforcement veteran. Authorities say 50-year-old Danny Hammond shot and killed Sandberg after a struggle in a hospital room.
Hammond died after hospital security used a Taser on him. Now, the enforcement community hopes to honor Sandberg’s spirit of service through a new organization.
The loss of Investigator Steven Sandberg is still raw for Aitkin County Sheriff Scott Turner and his 17 officers.
“We were going to collectively have to define what that ‘new normal’ is going to be,” Turner said.
For deputies, jailers and dispatchers in the area, it made the most sense to honor a man who put community and family first through an organization that does the same.
“We are hoping to keep that legacy alive in this community,” Turner said.
Members of the area law enforcement community are starting a nonprofit called the Aitkin County Law Enforcement Benevolent Association. The first goal is to raise $20,000 to send local deputies to National Police Officer Memorial Day in Washington, D.C. in May, where each fallen officer’s name will be read and carved into history.
“I think it will be surreal to hear Steve’s name,” Turner said.
Any extra funds will go to building a memorial for Investigator Sandberg on the Aitkin County Sheriff’s Office grounds.
Once the nonprofit gets up and running, the group hopes to start community outreach projects in Investigator Sandberg’s honor.