Feb 8, 2013 at 1:15 pm
WAITE PARK, Minn. (KNSI) - The Waite Park Police Department is mourning the loss of one of their own.
39 year-old Bradley Thelen, an 18 year veteran of the force, died of cancer yesterday. Waite Park Police Chief Dave Bentrud says Thelen was well-liked by everyone on the force, and passionate about serving the people of his hometown.
"I don't believe he could have ever seen himself working anywhere else," Bentrud says. "He loved his town, he cared about the people, he loved his family. He loved being a cop. He was quick-witted and had a zest for life."
Bentrud says the impact Thelen had on the department will not soon be forgotten.
"He was a really special guy. His call number was 2307, and there's no one here who'll be using that one as long as I'm chief," Bentrud adds. "He is an irreplacable guy."
Thelen earned a Medal of Valor in 2009, which is the highest honor an officer can receive, for his rescue of a suicidal person.
Thelen's battle with cancer began in 2008. He leaves behind a wife and two daughters.
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