Cold Spring Raises ‘End of Watch’ Tommy Decker Memorial Sign
COLD SPRING -- It's been five years since Cold Spring police officer Tom Decker was shot and killed and the community is still honoring his legacy.
Members of the Cold Spring - Richmond Police Department, Stearns County Sheriff's Office and the town of Cold Spring gathered on 2nd Street Wednesday afternoon for the raising of an "End of Watch" sign honoring Decker.
Cold Spring Police Chief Jason Blum says the sign was donated to the city.
"It's something the county put together and the Fraternal Order of Police local chapter donated the money for the signs. There's one (sign) put up for each of the fallen officers in Stearns County."
Although five years have passed, Blum says there isn't a day that goes by that someone in town doesn't share a memory about Decker.
"When you stop for coffee in the morning you still get that pat on the back from someone who has a story about Tommy. You still hear his name a lot, it's good to hear he's still in peoples' thoughts."
When Blum worked with Decker, he says Decker did his best to make everyone laugh, including pulling some pranks around the station.
"He'd leave balloon animals around the office for when you'd start your shift or one in the glove compartment and it would pop out. He would always go that extra mile to make someone smile or brighten somebody's day."
The new sign is posted in the granite landing area on 2nd Street. Last year, the city created a memorial garden in front of city hall in memory of Decker.
Decker was shot outside of a bar in Cold Spring the night of November, 29th 2012. His death prompted a widespread manhunt for the shooting suspect.
Ryan Larson was arrested and brought in for questioning the night Decker was shot but was never charged. Through the investigation, authorities gathered enough evidence to arrest Eric Thomes but Thomes had committed suicide before authorities could make an arrest.