Honoring the fallen: Slain Lake City officer honored at annual service

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LAKE CITY — A dreary sky and occasional rain set the backdrop for a solemn memorial service May 19 to honor the memory of fallen law enforcement officers.

The annual Southeastern Minnesota Police Week Law Enforcement Memorial Service, typically held in Rochester, was held at First Lutheran Church to mark the unveiling of a memorial statue for slain Lake City police officer Shawn Schneider. The church housed a full crowd with attendees overflowing into the entry area.

The service included remarks by Schneider's widow, Brittany Schneider, as well as Lake City Mayor Mark Nichols and Wabasha County Sheriff Rodney Bartsh.

"This was a day that changed the lives of so many people," Bartsh said of Dec. 19, 2011, the day Schneider was shot responding to a domestic call.

Schneider, a nine-year veteran of the Lake City Police Department, died of his injuries several days later. He was 32.

Bartsh continued that evil will always exist in the world, but there also will be people who volunteer to confront it.

"As long as evil exists, we'll have brave women and men willing to stand in front of that evil for you, with the possibility of giving the ultimate sacrifice," Bartsh said.

The Officer Shawn Schneider Memorial is located in Ohuta Park overlooking Lake Pepin.

The memorial service is intended as a remembrance and to pay respects to police officers who were killed or died in the line of duty. Rochester Police Department, Olmsted County Sheriff's Office Honor Guards and other area law enforcement and emergency service agencies took part in the service.