Family, Friends & Fellow Officers Remember...

Deputy Sheriff Richard Meyer

Winnebago County Sheriff's Office, Wisconsin

End of Watch Thursday, November 13, 2003

Leave a Reflection

Reflections for Deputy Sheriff Richard Meyer

Thinking of you today, Rick, as I am getting ready to attend the Candlelight Vigil. I won't forget that morning and getting the news. Won't ever forget you. I give my prayers to your family today as so many are gathering to remember, mourn, and celebrate those lost to this career.

Deputy Nate Gallagher
Grant Co. SO / Formerly Oshkosh PD

May 13, 2018

Thought of you today Rick. Remembering both of us at UW Oshkosh studying CJ. Then remembered that I was a supervisor at Gruenhagen Conference Center and you needed a job and of course I hired you. Remember studying at work when we shoulda been working. Was in my squad when the notice came over the message board. I pretty much lost my breath and cried. I was outside the church at your funeral with alot of others. You are missed and I still got your picture hanging in my house.

Retzer #286
Sheboygan Police Dept.

May 10, 2018

Rest in peace brother.

Lieutenant Ray Flores
NYPD (retired)

November 13, 2017

Rick,

We all think of you often. All your brothers and sisters see your memorial every time they come to work. You are not forgotten. This year and every year after we will be setting up a tribute table in your honor.
Always faithful,
Kyle

Deputy Kyle J. Holewinski W88
Winnebago County S.O. Honor Guard

November 9, 2015

Rick,
I was thinking about you last week because a fellow officer on SWAT asked about my memorial tattoo. I told your story and am proud to have worked with you.
Former WISO Sgt. Jim Giese W15

Det. Jim Giese #154
Minnetonka Police

September 8, 2015

Last night at Neenah High School Awards night, my great-nephew, Nicholas Malcore was presented with the Richard A. Meyer Memorial Scholarship Award. As the presenter, Sheriff Matz, with great dignity and compassion, shared Rick's story with the audience. It brought me to tears. I am a proud member of a law enforcement family, as well as Nicholas. Thank you to the Winnebago County Sheriff's Office for continuing to recognize and honor Rick's legacy of helping others. Nicholas will benefit from your generosity. We will always remember this night and the impact it had on all of us, especially Nicholas, both on a personal and academic level. Thank you!

Barbara A. Nelson

May 22, 2014

Rest in God's loving embrace, hero. You will never be forgotten.

Retired Wisconsin L.E.O.

March 11, 2014

We remember November 12, 2003…and November 13, 2003.

Ten years. We can’t just ignore it.

Many of us can’t think about one with out the other. I asked a few deputies to write their thoughts about how it all started. But no one could do it justice—even ten years later. It is still too raw. Ten years later.

For those who were not there, for those who were too young to remember, for those who can’t possibly understand what it was like, I will try to explain.

11-12-13…Two local teens, Adam Schreiber (age 16) and Jon Schultz (age 15), went out duck hunting on Lake Winnebago, near Streich’s Lane (also known as the Sea Plane Base, or Willow’s Harbor). They were experienced outdoorsmen, and knew the area well. They went out after school, telling family they would be hunting in the bay. Jon’s dog was with them. It was cold, about 30 degrees, and windy. It got much windier, very quickly. Based on the lay of the land, Willow’s Harbor is usually protected from the wind. When we were first standing out there looking for them, the water in the Harbor was flat, non-moving, peaceful even…but the wind was whipping. Reports said 45 mph gusts. And once a duck skiff left that Harbor, all bets were off. The wind was unimaginable out on the lake. Just horrible. Those kids were certainly taken by surprise.

The families called us when the boys didn’t come home. Sheriff boats were called for immediately, even before the first deputy arrived. When the first deputy got there, he found that the family dog had been hit by a car, and was deceased. That deputy knew it was bad from the outset. Very bad.

Both boys drowned that night. We recovered them the following spring.

Adam and Jon were kids. They were in trouble, and we were looking for them. We had deputies, firefighters with night vision, detectives, our three boats, the US Coast Guard helicopter from 100 miles away, adjacent agencies, and everything we could mobilize, out there looking. Hoping. All night. We had everything we could muster…of course we had to try. Of course we were not going to give up. Everyone was drained, exhausted, freezing and just hoping for the best. These were good kids. This wasn’t supposed to happen to them. The lingering thought that it would turn from a rescue to a recovery---something no one wanted to say aloud. The radio traffic was quiet county-wide that night. Everyone who had a radio was listening for word.

Third shift for us starts at 10:00pm. All the deputies were briefed on the ongoing search, and as many as we could send went down to that call to help. The clocked rolled over midnight, to 11-13-13. Other deputies still had the rest of the county to take care of. Third shift was out, doing their job. Deputy Richard Meyer (Rick) was assigned to the northern part of the county for his patrol area. It was cold and windy, and everyone was listening to the radio traffic about the search for the boys. It seemed like business as usual for the rest of the county. Later in the shift, there was a burglar alarm to a business in the southern part of the county. Rick said he would go assist at the alarm, since others were tied up on the rescue operation. It was a pretty far distance to cover, but we do what we have to. We still had a duty to the rest of the county.

Rick never made it.

A passerby found Rick’s crashed squad car. Rick attempted to take the shortest path to the alarm call. In doing so, he had to navigate a construction zone. Rick took evasive action to avoid a large gravel pile in the road, but ultimately collided with machinery in the road. After being removed from his patrol car with the jaws of life, Deputy Meyer was transported to Theda Clark Medical Center where he died from his injuries.

From the hospital, the phone calls started. This was before social media. For that, I am thankful. We had just a few members of the Sheriff's Office who did not get word at home...a few who showed up to work the next day, thinking it was just another day at the office. It was tragedy for a whole building full of people. It was brutal for other near-by agencies, who helped that us that night, who covered our calls for a few days, because few here could function.

The whole thing was surreal when it happened. How does a young man, a great guy, with a new family and a promising future, go to work, to do the job he loves, and just not come home? We accept that it's a dangerous profession. We understand intuitively that bad things can happen to us. Thankfully, line of duty deaths really are few and far between around here. And when it happens, it is not ok.

A word about Law Enforcement funerals....they are beautiful, vast tributes to how an officer lived. They are amazing, and powerful, and full of ceremony, and I hope I never have to go to another one in my life.
So it's been 10 years...most of it feels like a lifetime ago. Some of it is a blur, and still other parts feel like yesterday. Nearly half of our current employees did not work here 10 years ago. So we talk about Rick, learning what we can, and we try to teach the rookies.

We remember everyday when we walk in the employee entrance, see the pictures, and the shadow box. Rick will not be forgotten.

All of us
Winnebago County Sheriff's Office

November 13, 2013

ten years have passed since you left way too soon. your memory and spirit lives on in the hearts of so many. Know you will never be forgotten. you left a great impact in your short time here. rest in peace rick

anonymous

November 12, 2013

Almost 10 years. I was 13 when you passed. I'll never forget how I found out...that phone call still lives with me. Now an LEO myself, I find grander meaning in how you lived and worked, and the profound impact you had on WCSO.

Deputy J. Matz
Dane County Sheriff's Office

November 3, 2013

Rick,

I regret that I never knew you. I started working for the Winnebago County Sheriff's Office after the end of your watch. Know that your presence is still felt within those walls. Sometimes I want to ask those who knew you what you were like, who the young man behind the memorials really was; the strengths, the flaws, the personality. Still, I hesitate. The pain of your loss still lingers just below the surface. Perhaps your memory would be better served by touching the old wound, but I'm afraid it would reopen. Please forgive my reluctance.

We'll lose another officer someday. It's only a matter of time. I see the damage caused by your loss in my co-workers almost every day. It makes me doubt myself, whether I would be able to carry on with my duty if put to that test. I pray the next loss can wait, and wait, and wait until we are all ready and strong enough to bear it. But I know that day will never be.

Rest easy though, Rick. You've earned it. We endeavour to make you proud of us, even those whom you never knew.

Anonymous
WISO

November 13, 2012

I'm lost for words. I know you watch over us all. Thank you.
Your family remains in my prayers.

Kelly Schmitz W24
WISO

November 13, 2012

even after 9 years, your memory continues to live on in the hearts and minds of those that knew and loved you. You will never be forgotten

anonymous

November 12, 2012

I worked with Rick and can say he was a good officer. And friend

COl REEVES
Winnebago Sheriff

June 24, 2012

Thank you for your service Sir, RIP

James Kotke
Civilian / Former Officer
WSF Park Police (Wi.)

April 11, 2012

We had a shooting on Christmas Eve. So many of your friends put themselves in danger to find a gunman, in a residential area with an automatic rifle, who suffers from a mental illness. I worked with them 12 long hours hoping and praying every minute they would find him without anyone else getting hurt. We got him on Christmas Day, without incident, without him hurting himself or anyone else. I know you were with those officers that took him into custody that day. Thank you Rick. As long as I am around dispatch will stay diligent to officer safety. We will never forget. Please help keep everyone safe in 2012. Peace and love, HHH

W158 HHH

December 31, 2011

Rick,

I find myself visiting this site frequently and looking at all the relections by your co-workers and friends. I am a new officer to the Winnebago Sheriff's Dept. but needed to tell you how amazing it is to see the peolple that knew you have never forgotten you. Your presence is still very much alive at the Sheriff;s Dept. and your freinds speak of you like a true hero and great friend and officer.

I am very proud to work for an agency that keeps their officer's memory alive when they pay the ultimate price. I have been unfortunate to have worked at two agencies now that have lost an officer in the line of duty recently. As sad as these losses are, I find myself not being scared about the possibility of not coming home one night. It feels good to know that if my day comes, I will be remembered by my family, freinds, community, and brothers in blue.

Well, I just wanted to let you know what the Sheriiff's Dept. is like from the perspective of an officer that did not know you personally. Your memory is still strong and you are spoke of often. Just wanted to say thanks for everything you have done and that you have made it easier for me to put on that uniform every day.

Anonymous
Winnebago County Sheriff's Dept.

November 28, 2011

Eight years ago today we lost you. Everytime an officer doesn't answer me on the radio I get a knot in my stomach and think of you. I am a better dispatcher because of it. I see your smiling face on your plaque every day when I come into work and it welcomes me and helps me do my sometimes very difficult job. I will never forget. RIP Rick.

Heidi ho
Dispatcher

November 13, 2011

Hard to believe it has been almost 8 years since we lost you. Know you continue to be thought of and missed.

Anonymous

anonymous

November 2, 2011

Thinking of today.

anyonumous
anyonumous

August 12, 2011

We never officially met just passed each other in the hall. But I think about you every day I walk in. Please watch over us.
You may be gone but you are NEVER forgotten!

Anonymous

March 21, 2011

Just thinking about you today. Thanks for watching over us from up there. Your family is in my prayers and thoughts this season.

Nate Gallagher
Grant Co. SO

December 22, 2010

7 years have passed, seems so hard to believe. You are not forgotten and live on in many hearts and minds

Anonymous

November 15, 2010

7 years... some days it seems like yesterday; other days it seems like a lifetime ago. We are hiring people that were 15 years old when you made the ultimate sacrifice. We won't forget, and we talk about you often...

Lt Lara Vendola-Messer
Winnebago County Sheriff's Office

November 13, 2010

Rick,
Just thought I'd drop a note today. We remember all who gave their lives today. We remember everyday though. Thank you for having our back from up there. No better cover officer. Never Forget

Nate Gallagher
Grant Co. S.O.

May 8, 2010

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