Dep. Christopher Dewey to be recognized in cereemony tonight
MAHNOMEN, Minn. - Mahnomen County Sheriff Doug Krier said he expects "an emotional ceremony" tonight when the names of 316 officers killed in the line of duty - including one of his own, Deputy Christopher Dewey - are called off during a candlelight vigil in Washington, D.C.
Dewey's name was recently engraved on the wall at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial. Tonight's vigil, which will be webcast live at 7 p.m., will formally dedicate the names.
"It's honoring the officers that gave their lives for the safety of the communities that they serve," Krier said.
Krier and his chief deputy, Brady Burnside, who was an investigator when Dewey was shot, flew from Minneapolis to Washington Thursday. Also expected to be on the flight were survivors of Maplewood Sgt. Joe Bergeron and North St. Paul Officer Richard Crittenden, who died in the line of duty in May 2010 and September 2009, respectively.
Dewey's widow, Emily, and sister-in-law, Hannah Bergman, traveled by car to Washington with White Earth Tribal Police Officer Brad Piech, who used to work for the sheriff's office, Krier said. Officers with the Madison (Wis.) Police Department, which Bergman recently joined, collected donations to ensure Dewey's family could make the trip.
Through Krier, Emily Dewey declined an interview but said she's looking forward to the ceremony.
"She just needs some down time or quiet time to take in everything," Krier said.
Christopher Dewey died Aug. 9 after a long struggle to recover from being shot in the head and abdomen on Feb. 18, 2009, as he investigated a report of drunken driving in Mahnomen.
A first-degree murder trial is slated to begin Aug. 1 for the alleged shooter, Thomas Lee Fairbanks of Mahnomen.
The candlelight vigil will include comments from Attorney General Eric Holder and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, musical tributes and a laser light show, said Steve Groeninger, spokesman for the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial.
The names of each fallen officer will be read aloud alphabetically by state.
Dedicated in 1991, the memorial lists the names of 19,298 officers killed in the line of duty dating back to 1791, including those added this spring, Groeninger said.
A separate dedication ceremony sponsored by the Fraternal Order of Police will be held Sunday on the west steps of the U.S. Capitol in conjunction with National Police Week, Groeninger said.
Krier said tonight's vigil for fallen officers is "just one of the ways that you can pay tribute to them.
"By putting their name on the wall, they won't be forgotten and they'll live forever," he said.
Watch Dewey ceremony live
Tonight's candlelight vigil at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, D.C., will be webcast live at 7 p.m. CDT.
To watch the free webcast, viewers must register at www.lawmemorial.org/webcast.
Mahnomen County Deputy Christopher Dewey's name will be among those read aloud to honor the fallen officers.