Violence against Minnesota law enforcement on the rise

According to the BCA, violent attacks against officers rose 140 percent in a three-year period.
Published: Apr. 17, 2023 at 5:16 PM CDT
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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – A Minnesota deputy died this weekend. Deputy Josh Owen was shot in the line of duty on this birthday.

It happened in Pope County, about 140 miles northwest of the Twin Cities. The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension said Owen, another deputy and a police officer were trying to make an arrest when the suspect opened fire on them.

It’s a growing trend in the state. According to the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, violent attacks against officers rose 140 percent in a three-year period.

“Unfortunately, the violence against law enforcement seems to be rising every year,” Dodge County Sheriff Scott Rose said.

In 2019, there were 467 officers assaulted in Minnesota. Just a few years later, in 2021, that number rose to 1,112.

“We seem to be dealing with a lot more mental health cases and people struggling. Out of that, we’re seeing a lot more violent encounters,” Sheriff Rose said.

It’s something the Pope County community is feeling right now, after deputy Owen died trying to make an arrest during a domestic call.

“Our sympathies and love are with deputy Josh Owen’s family and families of the other deputies and officers involved,” Tim Riley with the Pope County Sheriff’s Office said.

Last week in Wisconsin, lost two officers, Emily Breidenbach and Hunter Scheel who were killed during a traffic stop.

“I cry and cry knowing I’ll never see that smile again. I’ll never get to listen to him laugh and tell a funny joke again. I’ll never get to see him hug my mom or tease our younger sister,” Scheel’s sister Audrey Sheel said.

Dodge County Sheriff’s Office offering peer to peer and chaplin support for its deputies during these difficult times.

“I reached out right away to my staff via email, letting them know to please be careful out there. For us it’s a family. This is an extended family for us,” Sheriff Rose said.

Law enforcement leaders say it’s a sadness felt from department to department across the country.

“When something like this happens, it affects everybody. Things are kinda quiet here today.”

Dodge County Sheriff Scott Rose

Sheriff Rose says several deputies with his office will be attending Owen’s funeral. He leaves behind a wife and son. A fund for the family has been set up at some local banks and online. Click here to donate.