MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — After losing one of their own last fall, deputies from Aitkin County got to honor Investigator Steven Sandberg in the nation’s capital on Sunday.

Eleven deputies from Aitkin spent months raising more than $10,000 to be able to travel to The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, D.C this weekend. Investigator Sandberg was killed in the line of duty last October.

He was guarding a patient in the hospital who was suspected of crime when the patient grabbed Sandberg’s gun and shot him.

During the memorial weekend in Washington, D.C., officers from Aitkin County got to stand in the front row of the vigil to honor fallen peace officers. One deputy talked to us on the phone from Washington and told us how much this weekend means to them.

(credit: Aitkin County Sheriff's Office)

(credit: Aitkin County Sheriff’s Office)

“The thin blue line is such a strong family and we each have one another’s back and support ourselves through difficult circumstances and we push on because of the losses that we’ve suffered,” Deputy Greg Payment said. “It brings back a lot of emotions we went through in October and to see so many other agencies have to go through the same thing we went through is probably the most tearful thing.”

Officers from surrounding counties stepped up to fill in for Aitkin County deputies this weekend so they could attend the weekend-long memorial. Investigator Sandberg’s wife and daughter were also in attendance.

Deputies are still trying to raise funds for a memorial to be built in Investigator Sandberg’s name in Aitkin. Here is more information on an upcoming event.

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