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Hero Down: Elkhorn PD Officer Joseph Kirkpatrick Dies Unexpectedly

Elkhorn, WI – Elkhorn Police Department (EPD) Officer Joseph “Joe” Kirkpatrick died unexpectedly at his residence on Tuesday afternoon, according to his department.

EPD Chief Joel Christiensen announced the longtime officer’s sudden death “with a heavy heart and tremendous sadness” in a press release on Aug. 19.

Officer Kirkpatrick was serving as a police school liaison officer (PLSO) at the time of his passing, Chief Christiensen said.

He began serving EPD as a reserve officer in June of 1992, and was appointed to the rank of patrolman three years later.

In 2005, he was chosen to serve as the EPD’s school liaison officer, which was “the greatest satisfaction of his career,” according to Chief Christiensen.

The liaison officer program is the result of a collaborative effort between the Elkhorn School District and EPD, and was established in order to help “provide a safe learning environment and reduce delinquency,” according to the city’s website.

Officer Kirkpatrick was primarily stationed at the Elkhorn Area High School, but responded to “law enforcement related concerns” at all five of the schools in the district, the city’s website noted.

“PLSO Kirkpatrick exemplified everything that is expected of a school resource officer – mentor, guardian, and counselor,” Chief Christensen said. “[He] forged everlasting relationships with the children and staff of the Elkhorn Area School District and positively impacted the lives of countless children.”

“PLSO Kirkpatrick served with distinction and honor and has left a lasting legacy at the Elkhorn Police Department,” the chief added. “He will be greatly missed.”

Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Elkhorn Police Department (EPD) Officer Joseph “Joe” Kirkpatrick, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.

Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

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Written by Holly Matkin


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