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Bergeron memorial restored
Boulder repainted after death of officer Patrick
A couple weeks ago, the memorial commemorating slain Maplewood police Sgt. Joseph Bergeron was not in peak condition.
The lettering was faded, there was some sign of wear, and memorial had been defaced with spray paint in November 2013.
It needed a fix-up, badly.
That's when St. Paul Police Historical Society members Tim Bradley and Linda Schwartzbauer decided to spring into action and get the memorial back to its original form.
After the tragic shooting and killing of Mendota Heights officer Scott Patrick in late July, a decision was made by the pair of members of the St. Paul police historical society to give the memorial a much-needed update. This was a long-standing issue, but the idea went from talks to action after the tragic death of Patrick.
"We had talked about it for months, and what I needed to do was go down to the mortuary company that does the headstones," said Bradley, a retired St. Paul police officer. "It's a special paint you put on the monuments. That put this in motion to get this thing done."
The memorial is located on St. Paul's East Side near the spot where Bergeron was fatally shot while investigating a Maplewood carjacking in 2010. He had been a member of the Maplewood Police Department for 26 years.
The memorial is a 30-ton granite rock, which was placed at Arlington Avenue and English Street five months after 21-year-old carjackers Jason Jones and Joshua Martin ambushed Bergeron along a recreation trail near Phalen Lake.
Bradley and fellow police historical society member Paul Johnson came together four years ago in response to "public outcry for something to be done" to honor Bergeron. The decision was made to put together the boulder memorial and make it a permanent part of the community.
More than anything, Bradley wants area residents to adopt a sense ownership for the site. The memorial was vandalized last fall, when white paint was splattered on the engraved stone. The culprits were never found.
Bradley requested anyone with information on the happenings of that night to call 651-266-5565.
"Bottom line is, we all own [the stone memorial]," Bradley said. "That's the attitude that you've got to have. If people take ownership for things, then they stay healthy and environments stay stable."
The inscription on the large rock reads: "With heartfelt gratitude, the community reclaims this earth as sacred ground to honor a peaceful warrior." It is now fully restored to its former self.
You can reach Tim Faklis at 651-748-7814, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @tfaklisnews.