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More delays for the Law Enforcement Memorial

Published: Apr. 25, 2022 at 7:50 PM CDT
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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – Progress on the Law Enforcement Memorial at Soldiers Field continues to be delayed.

Authorities say the pandemic is partially to blame.

Olmsted County Sheriff Kevin Torgerson told KTTC that he never expected it would take this long to complete the memorial.

The original plan was to have everything done by Rochesterfest in June.

Now, he’s estimating the memorial wall won’t be complete until next year.

“Not something that was very desirable, but it is what it is,”Torgerson said.

Empty walls on the memorial
Empty walls on the memorial(KTTC)

In the meantime, the walls of the Law Enforcement Memorial remain bare.

“We had hopes to, right around this time in late April early May, be able to start moving some dirt and things like that to finish some of the landscaping work,” Torgerson said.

The landscaping is delayed because the needed materials are not available.

“We still hope to get some of the landscaping and retaining wall work done sometime into June or July, probably more so after the Fourth of July right now,” Torgerson said. “Which puts us another four months behind where we thought we could be at this point in time.”

Additionally, the engraving and artwork on the memorial has been delayed.

It was supposed to be done over the winter in January or February but couldn’t happen.

“Initially the largest producer in the United States, that makes the stenciling, stopped making it somewhere around the time of the pandemic starting,” Torgerson said.

The unfinished Law Enforcement Memorial
The unfinished Law Enforcement Memorial(KTTC)

The stencil work has already been delayed nearly two years and Torgerson’s new hope is to have it done in the upcoming fall or early winter when the company doing the work enters a slower season.

“So as far as a full on dedication, welcoming the public, taking the fence down and all of that, I think we’re looking at probably May of next year at the earliest at this point,” Torgerson said.

Due to inflation, Torgerson is worried that the cost to finish the project will be higher because of rising prices for material and equipment.

Fundraising efforts for the memorial wall are still ongoing.

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