FDL PD Holds Annual Memorial Service Thursday

In 1962, President John F. Kennedy signed a proclamation, which designated May 15th as Peace Officers Memorial Day and the week in which that date falls as National Police Week. Each year during National Police Week upwards of 40,000 law enforcement officers from across the United States and world gather in Washington, DC to pay tribute to those officers that have given their lives in the service and protection of their communities and our nation.

In its history the City of Fond du Lac Police Department has had 3 police officers killed in the line of duty; all 3 were feloniously shot and killed.

  • Officer William C. Prinslow was shot while attempting to apprehend three robbery suspects on November 18, 1898; he died of his injuries the following day, on November 19, 1898;
  • Officer Nick E. Klaske was shot while investigating a burglary on October 29, 1961; he died of his injuries on October 31, 1961;
  • Officer Craig A. Birkholz was shot and killed on March 20, 2011, while responding to assist other officers, who were investigating a sexual assault complaint where the suspect had begun firing on them, and had shot and critically injured another officer.

Additionally, on March 24, 2015, Wisconsin State Trooper Trevor Casper was shot and killed in the City of Fond du Lac while attempting to apprehend a bank robbery and murder suspect.

The names of our fallen officers are engraved on the walls of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington D.C., the Wisconsin Police Memorial at the State Capitol, and the City of Fond du Lac Police and Fire Memorial located at Hamilton Park.

The City of Fond du Lac Police Department will be hosting a Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Ceremony on Thursday, May 13, 2021, at 1PM at the Police/Fire Memorial in Hamilton Park. This annual ceremony is held to honor all of our nation’s fallen law enforcement officers and, in particular, the 4 officers that have been killed in the City of Fond du Lac.

Participating in the ceremony will be a multi-agency Honor Guard comprised of members of the City of Fond du Lac Police Department, Fond du Lac County Sheriff’s Department, North Fond du Lac Police Department and Wisconsin State Patrol. Law enforcement officers from across Fond du Lac County will be in attendance. The event is open to the public and all are invited to join the area’s law enforcement officers for this special ceremony.    

This year’s memorial ceremony will mark ten years since the death of City of Fond du Lac Police Officer Craig Birkholz. Additionally, it will be the last memorial ceremony keynote speaker appearance by City of Fond du Lac Police Chief William Lamb who will be retiring on May 18.

During National Police week, we very humbly ask all to remember and reflect upon the extraordinary risks and sacrifices made daily by our nation’s law enforcement officers. The following are a few facts and statistics that illustrate those risks:

  • There are approximately 900,000 law enforcement officers currently serving across the United States.
  • More than 22,000 law enforcement officers have been killed in the line of duty in the United States.
  • There were 264 law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty in the United Stated in 2020 – the second highest number ever recorded in the history of the United States. That number is up from 139 in 2019.  
  • More than 60,000 law enforcement officers are assaulted each year, resulting in more than 17,000 injuries.