Northland Honors Deputy Killed in the Line of Duty

By KBJR News 1

August 26, 2013 Updated Aug 26, 2013 at 11:55 PM CST

Moose Lake, MN (NNCNOW.com) - A Carlton County Deputy shot and killed 20 years ago was remembered Monday in Moose Lake.

Co-workers, friends and family gathered to rededicate the Deputy Erv Clemons Memorial that was damaged by last year's flood.

Carlton County Sheriff Deputy Erv Clemons was many things to many people.

"I knew him as a golf partner, I was going to put a quarter on the memorial, but I'll wait until later and he'll know what that is for."

Carlton County Judge Dale Wolf remembers that August day twenty years ago, when Clemons suffered a fatal gunshot wound during an early morning standoff at a home in Moose Lake.

"He had a wonderful sense of humor it's so bittersweet that somebody so young was taken so tragically," said Judge Dale Wolf, Carlton County.

The gunman, who suffered from mental illness, was also shot and killed in the incident.

Law enforcement says it's a tragic reminder of the dangers of being in the line of duty.

"Everyday we put the uniform on and put the gun on, it could be the last time that we come home to our family," said Sheriff Kelly Lake, Carlton County.

As two decades have passed since the Deputy's untimely death, officials say his commitment to the community carries on throughout the Northland.

"When you talk about mentor, he was, I worked with him for probably a year and was fortunate enough to get to know Erv and work with him and he taught me a lot in that time, he was a good man," said Lake.

On Monday, a memorial bearing his name was rededicated along Moosehead Lake in his honor after it was damaged in last June's flood.

And as the Northland came together to remember the service of Deputy Clemons, officials say it's dedications like this that will help his legacy live on.

"An event such as this, really shows to the family, the community and law enforcement that we won't forget," said Lake.

"He loved his community, he loved this county, he protected it and he would be very happy if he saw it today," said Wolf.

And it's that courage and commitment that these fellow officers and others hope to carry out in Deputy Clemons honor.

The shootings sparked a debate over the need to better monitor people on medication for potentially dangerous mental disorders, a debate that continues today.

Jeremy Brickley
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