4/19/2017 3:38:00 PM Donations help Claassens travel to Law Enforcement Memorial Day
By Karen M. Jorgensen
Kathy Claassen, widow of Hayfield Police Chief Douglas Claassen, was presented with three checks last week totaling $3,500 that will help defray expenses for Claassen, her son Mark, daughter Jean and six grandchildren fly to Washington DC in May to attend the National Law Enforcement Memorial Day.
Jack Davey of the Minnesota 100 Club gave Claassen a check for $2,500. Dodge County Sheriff Scott Rose had two additional checks, one for $750 from the Hayfield Chamber of Commerce, and one from the Hayfield American Legion for $250.
Claassen suffered a career ending spinal cord injury during a struggle with a suspect in 1977. The injury compromised both his respiratory and circulatory systems resulting in an accelerated decline in health and severe physical disability including partial paralysis, Rose said.
He died in 1999 as a result of his injuries, he said.
Earlier this year Claassen was formally and publicly recognized and in May his name will be added to the Law Enforcement Memorial Wall in the nation's capital and his name announced during the program.
"I felt it was important for us to try and help Kathy Claassen and her family get to Washington DC in May to finally see her husband and their father and grandfather recognized for his service," Rose said.
Minnesota's chapter of Concerns of Police Survivors (MN C.O.P.S) previously had announced it would pay for the Claassen family's round trip airfare. In addition, the National Concerns of Police Survivors, parent organization of the Minnesota group, is providing all transportation to and from the airport as well as to and from all events.
Davey said that the first they heard of the situation involving Claassen was a week earlier when they were presented with the story by Sheriff Rich Stanek of Hennepin County. The group decided at their April 6 board meeting to approve a donation to the Claassen family.
The Minnesota 100 Club is a non-profit organization with the mission of raising and dispensing funds to surviving family members of those who lose their lives or directly to first responders who suffer a serious or disabling injury.