MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – It was a powerful reunion in the midst of Minnesota’s opioid crisis as a young woman personally thanked the Bloomington police officer she credits with saving her life.

WCCO looks back on the fateful traffic stop that led Marisa to find help.

Sgt. Tom Williams recounted the stop he made in 2014 when he pulled over a then 19-year-old college student caught speeding with a spoon and tinfoil in her car.

(credit: CBS)

“If someone were to tell me that my daughter in Victoria, Minnesota, was going to be a heroin addict, I would have said, ‘No way,'” Sandy Krause told us at the time.

During that meeting with Marisa Krause’s parents at the Bloomington Police Department six years ago, Sgt. Williams gave them the advice that made Monday’s meeting possible.

“It’s good to see you, too. Congrats, thank you,” Marisa and Williams said as they met again for the first time since the traffic stop.

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“Primarily what I talked to your folks about was the idea of tough love and they listened, and it’s a really hard thing to do,” Williams recalled.

That night, they wouldn’t let Marisa back in.

“We have a bag packed for you, you’re not staying here,” Marisa remembered them saying to her at the time.

“Tough things for parents to hear, but things that they need to know,” Williams said.

Marisa moved to California for treatment. She’s 25 years old now and working full-time in retail in California.  She hopes to one day be a substance abuse counselor for others.

“If it wasn’t for Officer Williams, I would probably be dead by now,” Marisa said.

It’s a calling to which Williams can relate.

“I’ve got a recovery date coming up myself in a couple of weeks,” he told Marisa.

He’s been sober 41 years.

“That’s awesome. I was very young like you when I got into recovery,” Williams said.

It was a chance encounter on a Twin Cities street that ultimately pointed a lost teenager in the right direction.

“I just want to say thank you. That really meant a lot to me because I have a great life now,” Marisa said.

Sgt. Williams retired from the Bloomington Police Department after serving for 33 years in May. Marisa will share her story at Hazelden for others in recovery this week before she heads back to California

Liz Collin

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