Aug 22, 2013 at 4:19 pm
COLD SPRING, Minn. (KNSI) - Officer Tom Decker grew up in, devoted his career to, and gave his life while serving the Cold Spring-Richmond area - and now, there will be permanent roadside reminders of that.
Loved ones, colleagues and members of the Cold Spring community honored Decker today with an unveiling of one of the new Tom Decker Memorial Highway signs at Cold Spring Lions Park.
Members of the law enforcement community presented Decker's widow, Alicia and his parents, with red roses before lifting the cover off the sign to show the public.
Cold Spring Police Chief Chris Boucher says he's glad the large, brown signs will be a noticable and constant reminder of Decker's service to drivers in the area.
"It's much larger than I thought," Boucher tells KNSI. "It will be nice to know that, when people drive down the highway, they'll know that this is the area Tommy represented and served. Very nice to see that."
The dedicated stretch is an 11-mile portion of Hwy. 23 from Cold Spring to Richmond.
State Representative Jeff Howe of Rockville and Paynesville State Senator Michelle Fischbach co-authored the bill.
Howe says the two began discussing it with the city of Cold Spring back in December, and throughout the process, the plan received strong backing from many members of the state legislature.
"The bill, of course, received unanimous support and numerous co-signers when it was introduced," Howe says. "And really, it's just been an honor to be able to carry it."
Boucher says today was a much needed bright spot in a long, painful healing process.
"This is the one positive thing to come out of this," he says. "It's great to know our government worked to get something done that we asked for."
The 31-year-old Decker died last November after being shot behind a Cold Spring bar while responding to a call. The state legislature voted in April to name a portion of Highway 23 between Cold Spring and Richmond after Decker.
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