By WCCO-TV Staff

ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — Flags will be flown at half-staff Tuesday in honor and remembrance of a central Minnesota police officer who died of COVID-19 complications.

New York Mills Police Officer Ronald Smith died last week. He’s been in law enforcement for 14 years, serving also with the Perham and Wadena police departments, as well as the Wadena County Sheriff’s Office.

According to the Minnesota Law Enforcement Memorial Association, Smith died following a month-long battle with COVID-19.

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“Officer Smith was a police officer who was respected by his family, friends, and colleagues, making a lasting impression on his community,” reads the proclamation issued by Gov. Tim Walz. “With its deepest gratitude, the State of Minnesota recognizes Officer Smith for his dedicated service to, and sacrifice for, his fellow Minnesotans, and our thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends, and entire community.”


Minnesota flies its flags at half-staff following the death of Minnesota first responders fallen in the line of duty. The governor’s office said that Smith died of an “illness obtained from the line of duty services.”

A celebration of life for Smith will be held in Motley Tuesday, immediately followed by a law enforcement procession that will go through Wadena.

Flags will be at half-staff from sunrise to sunset.