Annual 'Police Week' memorial service honors fallen officers

Retired Grand Forks County Sheriff Bob Rost was the keynote speaker of the service

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Retired Grand Forks County Sheriff Bob Rost recognized the men and women in law enforcement who protect those in their communities and who have made the ultimate sacrifice during his speech
Meghan Arbegast / Grand Forks Herald
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GRAND FORKS – Members of the community gathered Tuesday, May 17, to honor fallen law enforcement officers of the northern Red River Valley during the 10th Annual Northern Valley Police Week Memorial Service.

The service is held during National Police Week, which has been observed since 1962 recognizing law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty.

Local and state law enforcement officers from North Dakota and Minnesota agencies, federal law enforcement, the U.S. Air Force and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police participated in the service. The ceremony included a presentation of the colors, a reading of roll call for fallen officers, a 21 gun-salute and a flag folding by the 319th Security Squadron with the Grand Forks Air Force Base.

Grand Forks Police Chief Mark Nelson gave the opening remarks. In his speech, Nelson spoke about Cody Holte, a Grand Forks police officer who was killed in the line of duty on May 27, 2020 . Holte was one of four officers involved in a shooting at a Grand Forks apartment after a resident opened fire when officers attempted to enforce an eviction order.

“May 27, 2020, was a beautiful spring day. Things appeared to be going as normal as possible in a COVID-constrained environment. That day Cody Holte was having a normal patrol shift. That day was routine until it wasn’t,” Nelson said. “That day changed Cody’s family, his friends, our department, this community and me forever.”


Retired Grand Forks County Sheriff Bob Rost was the keynote speaker. Rost’s speech recognized the men and women in law enforcement who protect those in their communities.

“We are here to memorialize those police officers who have made the ultimate sacrifice,” Rost said. “To honor and say thanks to those police officers who have served honorably and have retired. And to those who continue to serve.”

In 2021, 618 law enforcement officers were killed in the line of duty throughout the United States and Canada. To date, 105 Canadian and U.S. law enforcement officers have died in the line of duty this year.

Rost said police officers always complete their routine work and responsibilities with a sense of duty while putting their lives on the line for those they’re protecting.

“This is reality and you think I painted a picture of gloom, that was not my intention," Rost said. "Police officers do what they do, they choose their station in life."

During his speech, Rost also mentioned the Northern Valley Law Enforcement Memorial, which is being built on the south end of Grand Forks in Optimist Park. The memorial will be dedicated to fallen law enforcement officers and will be the first such memorial in Grand Forks.

The total number of delinquent referrals from Grand Forks in 2021 was 427 compared to 419 referrals in 2020. Also, the total number of Child in Need of Services referrals was 184, compared to a total of 218 referrals in 2020

The names of law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty were read off after a memorial wreath was placed. Law enforcement officers from the following agencies were honored: East Grand Forks Police Department, Grand Forks Police Department, United States Border Patrol, CBP Office of Field Operations, CBP Office of Intelligence, United States Marshals Service, Grand Forks County Sheriff’s Office, Mayville Police Department (Traill County), North Dakota Highway Patrol, North Dakota Attorney General’s Office, North Dakota Game and Fish, Thief River Falls Police Department, Hallock Police Department, Mahnomen County Sheriff’s Office, Roseau County Sheriff’s Office, Minnesota State Patrol, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the United States Armed Forces.

Meghan Arbegast grew up in Security-Widefield, Colorado. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Journalism from North Dakota State University in Fargo, in 2021.

Arbegast wrote for The Spectrum, NDSU's student newspaper, for three years and was Head News Editor for two years. She was an intern with University Relations her last two semesters of college.

Arbegast covers news pertaining to the city of Grand Forks/East Grand Forks including city hall coverage.

Readers can reach Arbegast at 719-235-8640 or

Pronouns: She/Her
Languages: English
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