WDAY: The News Leader

Published August 18, 2010, 08:19 AM

Thousands honor the life of Deputy Christopher Dewey

(WDAY TV) - A moving memorial to honor the life of a man we grew to know the past 18 months: Mahnomen County Deputy Chris Dewey. Thousands of people and law enforcement officers came to say goodbye in the Twin Cities. Deputy Dewey died last Monday, 18 months after being shot in the line of duty, once in the head and twice in the stomach.

By: WDAY Staff Reports, WDAY

Today, about 2,100 mourners filled the Living Word Christian Center in Brooklyn Park for the 68 minute funeral. A photo of the 27-year old sat in front, next to the urn with his ashes surrounded by firefighter helmets with an American flag nearby.

Friends and family spoke. Each remembered Dewey as a hero, someone who loved the outdoors. Tonight, we hear for the first time from Dewey's partner.

“That morning when he was shot, he knew evil was coming afoot. He was professional to the end. As a partner you couldn't beat him. Not one bit.”

After the service, a large processional went from the church to Crystal Lake Cemetery in Minneapolis. Hundreds of law enforcement, nearly every state agency represented, took part in the motorcade, as did the Patriot Guard. Motorcycles and squad cars escorted the hearse and Dewey's ashes to be interred with a police burial.

Detroit Lakes Police Sargeant Tom Eggebraaten sang at the service. The entire force from the Mahnomen County sheriff's office attended the funeral and in order for them all to leave, volunteers from sheriff's departments around the state of Minnesota are filling in.

Hennepin County Deputy Cory Lee is used to helping clear drugs and guns from the streets in the Twin Cities metro. Today, he is patrolling the quiet, quaint roads of Mahnomen County.

“Makes me feel good and it helps them. It is a win-win for everyone.”

The maps and pace a bit different, but the whole day is different. Today they buried a fellow deputy; someone Cory says is part of the law enforcement family.

“Sitting at the desk that Chris sat at and looking at his picture and his family. I feel honored to help out.”

The deputies witnessed the honor today, Flags around Mahnomen paying tribute to this town and county's deputy. In addition to those from Hennepin County in their squad cars, dispatchers like Liane Yanta are filling in that lifeline between those calling 911 and responding to it.

“All out of respect for Mahnomen and the deputy and his family and pay it forward for those of us in the profession.”

To familiarize themselves with Mahnomen County the Hennepin dispatchers used this 911 guide of Mahnomen County to study the map and street addresses of the townships in the county.

“When I found out I was able to come up here, I studied the maps to get familiar, and I have a good computer program that will help out too.”

Some of the deputies volunteering to fill in left the cities on Tuesday to be trained in and they are staying thru tomorrow. It is a chance to give Mahnomen deputies and dispatchers that time to remember and grieve this loss, all knowing this is family and no one asks anything in return.

Becker County and White Earth also helped Hennepin County. Of the thousands of officers taking part in that procession in the Twin Cities were many from local departments, about 7 officers from Moorhead Police and 10 deputies from Cass County Sheriff's department.

Some officers from each of those departments responded the day Dewey was shot and say it's important to stand behind Dewey and his family.

“I understand how important it is when you lose an officer. You look up and then see thousands of officers come to the funeral. To see a procession like that, the response is something that's of great solace to the officers that are left behind and to the families."

Officers from Minnesota, North Dakota, and Wisconsin showed their support at today's funeral.