Chief of Police Douglas Eugene Claassen

Chief of Police Douglas Eugene Claassen

Hayfield Police Department, Minnesota

End of Watch Saturday, March 13, 1999

Douglas Eugene Claassen

Chief of Police Douglas Claassen succumbed to complications from a neck injury he sustained on April 30th, 1977, in a struggle with a female subject.

He had attempted to stop the vehicle for speeding along Hayfield's Main Street, but the vehicle failed to stop. He pursued the vehicle until it crashed into a ditch and field at the intersection of County Road 9 and Highway 30. When he approached the vehicle, he discovered the female driver in a semi-conscious state as the result of a drug overdose. As he attempted to remove her from the vehicle she suddenly awoke and became violent. She struck him in the head, causing his head to snap back, injuring his neck.

Despite the injury, he continued to struggle with her as she attempted to take his service weapon. He subdued her briefly, but she then escaped and run from his patrol car. He pursued her on foot a short distance before catching her a second time. A Dodge County sheriff's deputy arrived and assisted placing her in a responding ambulance.

Chief Claassen was forced to medically retire because of the neck injury. His condition continued to deteriorate and he passed away from complications on March 13th, 1999.

In addition to service as chief of the Hayfield Police Department, Chief Claassen also served as a deputy with the Dodge County Sheriff's Office. He is survived by his wife and three children.


  • Age 65
  • Tour 3 years, 10 months
  • Badge 316

Incident Details

  • Cause Assault
  • Incident Date Saturday, April 30, 1977
  • Weapon Person
  • Offender Arrested

pursuit, traffic stop

Most Recent Reflection

View all 4 Reflections

Thank God your family had you for as long as they did, though in 1999, any and all suffering you endured ended once and for all and you could go home. The story accompanying your memorial is amazing and shows what a tough and no nonsense man you were. I admire you and respect your memory.

God Bless you, Brother and may your eternal rest be ever peaceful.

Ptl. Jim Leahy, Jr.
Harvard University Police Dept.

December 14, 2016

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