MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The man convicted of killing a Minneapolis police officer nearly four decades ago will be moved to work release next week.

Officer Richard “Dick” Miller was shot in the line of duty in August of 1981 while working in north Minneapolis.

Thirty-seven years into Isaac Brown’s life sentence, he will transition to a halfway house.

His widow, Lea Miller, wants people to remember her husband as the date nears.

Lea Miller (credit: CBS)

Lea puts on a necklace adorned with her husband’s badge number every morning.

“He was proud of who he was, and we were proud of him,” Lea said.

The married father of two was 59, and mere months from retirement, when he was murdered.

“I always thought [Brown] would be in prison til he died. But about five years ago they started telling me that maybe he wouldn’t be there that long, so they were preparing me for this,” Lea said.

Officer Richard Miller (credit: CBS)

Brown became eligible for parole in 1998. During his sixth review hearing, an advisory panel decided to transition Brown to a halfway house to provide him with “an opportunity to experience life, focusing on employment and learning a positive day-to-day routine for success in the community.”

“I guess if I were really a good person I’d say that I’m happy for him, but I guess I’m not that good of a person because I think he should stay where he is forever,” Lea said.

When that day comes, Lea she hopes people will think of her husband.

“I want them to think about Dick, and I want him to think of my grandchildren who never got a chance to know him, and my great-grandchildren,” Lea said.

The law changed soon after Miller’s death — now anyone convicted of first-degree murder in the death of a peace officer, prosecuting attorney, judge or guard is sentenced to life without the possibility of parole.

Brown will transition to a halfway house on Tuesday, one day before Lea turns 90.

Jennifer Mayerle