Southeast Minnesota Community Mourning Loss of Retired Police Officer
The Zumbrota Police Department announced the passing of former officer Gary Schroeder Tuesday night. Gary had served the community for 18 years before medically retiring in 2020.
A news release says Gary fought a hard and courageous battle against PTSD sustained in the line of duty and died by suicide on April 17. Gary is being remembered for his hearty laugh and deep love of the Zumbrota community.
If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, visit the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline website. Resource information is provided for free as well as a chat message service. To speak directly to a professional, call 1-800-273-8255. You are not alone and help is available. Every life is important.
He also served as a firefighter in Zumbrota for a number of years. Several law enforcement leaders in southeast Minnesota took to social media to offer prayers and comfort to Gary’s family, including Olmsted County Sheriff Kevin Torgerson.
He wrote that he’s praying for comfort and peace for the Schroeder family and said in part, “We’ve taken great strides in recent years by supporting our profession to deal with the challenges we face while serving our communities. But clearly we must continue to support our men and women in public safety at all levels. It is Ok to not be OK and we must seek help and offer help openly.”
The Goodhue County Sheriff’s Office wrote on its Facebook page, "Our thoughts and prayers are with our partners at the Zumbrota Police Department and family of retired Officer Gary Schroeder Jr."
The Dodge County Sheriff’s Office is asking the community to, "Please keep our brothers and sisters in blue at the Zumbrota Police Department in your thoughts and prayers."
A visitation is planned for Sunday, April 23rd from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Our Saviour's Lutheran Church in Zumbrota. Funeral Services will be Monday, April 24th at 11 a.m. at the church, with a visitation one hour prior.
While sharing their sympathies, law enforcement also encouraged anyone experiencing distress to contact the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline by dialing or texting to 988 or reaching out online at 988lifeline.org.