Police gather for Dewey funeral
Law enforcement officers from hundreds of agencies gathered this morning for the funeral of Christopher L. Dewey,
a Mahnomen County deputy sheriff who died Aug. 9 after being shot 18
They began to fill the Living Word Christian Center parking lot in
Brooklyn Park shortly after 7 a.m., four hours before the funeral
service was to begin.
About 100 Dewey family members were to be joined by up to 2,000 law
enforcement officers and others for the service, open to the public.
Burial at Crystal Lake Cemetery in Minneapolis was to be private.
Dewey's sister-in-law, Hannah Bergman, was to deliver the eulogy and
Mahnomen County Deputy Sheriff Chad Peterson was to share memories of
his former law enforcement partner.
On Feb. 18, 2009, Dewey was shot once in the head and twice in the
stomach while investigating a report of a drunken driver in Mahnomen.
After the shooting, he suffered a brain hemorrhage and other medical
Dewey was hospitalized in early July for an infection and in mid-July
was placed on hospice care after a lung collapsed.
He underwent several surgeries and spent months at a Colorado
rehabilitation center. While there, the family received support from
Flatirons Community Church in Lafayette, Colo.
The Rev. Jim Burgen of Flatirons was to deliver the funeral message and
Chaplain M.C. Williams of the Fairplay, Colo., Police Department was to
assist at the cemetery.
The police flavor of the service was to be evident throughout. Sgt. Tim
Eggebraaten was to sing "I Can Only Imagine" and "Amazing Grace" as law
enforcement officers filled the pews.
Living Word's pastor, the Rev. Mac Hammond, hosted the service. It was
held in his church because a Dewey family member attends there, there is
plenty of seating (2,700 in the sanctuary), the church has ample parking
and it is involved police-support activities.
After the service, hundreds of law enforcement vehicles were to be part
of a motorcade to the cemetery. People lining the streets could expect
the motorcade to last 20 minutes.
In that motorcade were to be motorcycles ridden by member of the Patriot
Guard, a group that supports military and law enforcement personnel who
die in the line of duty.
Among hundreds at the service were to be all 20 members of the Mahnomen
County sheriff's office. Officers from nearby counties were filling in
Visitation preceded the 11 a.m. funeral at the church, with a slide show
about Dewey's life. The service and other ceremonies, including a police
burial, were organized by the Minnesota Law Enforcement Memorial
Dewey was born Feb. 9, 1983, in Cambridge, Minn., just north of the Twin
Cities, and graduated from high school there in 2001. He was the oldest
of five brothers; he also had two step-sisters.
He graduated from Hibbing, Minn., Community College in 2003 and joined
the Mahnomen County Sheriff's Department in 2004. He also was a
volunteer firefighter in Twin Lakes and Waubun
His high school sweetheart, Emily Boulden, became his bride in 2007.
The avid hunter and outdoorsmen is survived by his wife; mother, Poppe;
step-father, Keith; father, Mark; step-mother, Jennifer; and siblings,
Daniel, Philip, Henry, Douglas, Sara and Hana.
Gov. Tim Pawlenty, among dignitaries attending the funeral, ordered al
flags to be lowered to half staff at the state Capitol complex in honor
of Dewey. Also at the funeral were to be Attorney General Lori Swanson,
Public Safety Commissioner Michael Campion and Corrections Commissioner
Ironically, the man facing murder charges in the shooting comes from
Anoka, not far from Living Word Christian Center. He is Thomas Lee
A co-defendant in the shooting, Daniel Kurt Vernier, pleaded guilty to
charges and was sentenced last September to two years in prison.
Don Davis reports for Forum Communications Co.