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Police Officer Richard P. Wentlandt | Metro-Dade Police Department, Florida Metro-Dade Police Department, Florida

Police Officer

Richard P. Wentlandt

Metro-Dade Police Department, Florida

End of Watch: Saturday, March 15, 1997

Bio & Incident Details

Age: 48

Tour: 10 years

Badge # Not available

Cause: Duty related illness

Incident Date: 5/29/1981

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Police Officer Richard Wentlandt died on the evening of March 15, 1997, from a Hepatitis C infection that he contracted during blood transfusions after being shot in the line of duty on May 29, 1981.

While on patrol Officer Wentlandt spotted a car parked in a remote area. As he exited his patrol car to approach the vehicle the occupant fired on him, striking him six times. He was able to return fire, wounding the suspect. The subject was in the process of raping a woman whom he had just abducted. Officer Wentlandt is credited with saving her life.

Before his death, Officer Wentlandt's health deteriorated to the point where he was completely bed ridden.

In February 2012 Officer Wentlandt's killer was denied parole.

Officer Wentlandt had served with the Metro-Dade Police Department for 10 years.

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Thank you Rick for sharing your story with our class, BLE 82, many years ago now. I've never forgotten the impact of your story on me and your message to continually prepare mentally for the unexpected and know you can survive. I lived with this as a mantra for all my career, thanks to you. You were a great police officer and always a pleasure to speak with when our paths crossed. God bless you and may you rest in peace.

Detective F/LT. Thomas P. Riley, Retired
Michigan State Police (1987-2012), Metro-Dade Police (1982-1987)
March 17, 2017

 

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