Family, Friends & Fellow Officers Remember...

Patrolman Richard E. Hedstrom

Montana Highway Patrol, Montana

End of Watch Thursday, July 19, 1973

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Reflections for Patrolman Richard E. Hedstrom

Rest in peace Patrolman Hedstrom.

Rabbi Lewis S. Davis

February 16, 2022

This is my grandpa super sad I never got to meet him

Jackson Hedstrom
He his my grand father

December 21, 2016

I never got the chance to meet my uncle Rick as he was killed in the line of duty one year before I was born. I am so proud that he will be honored this weekend with a section of the highway dedicated to him. I look forward to seeing it the next time I am in Montana. My thoughts and prayers are with my aunt Cheri, cousin Cori, and the rest of my family who will be at the ceremony this weekend.

Robyn Heslop

May 7, 2015

I am Rick's sister-in-law and remember the day the call came very well. I was away at a gymnastics training camp and as I watched my coach take the call and listened to what he was saying, I knew it had something to do with Rick. You have never been forgotten Rick, and you left behind a wonderful legacy in your son Cori and grandson Jackson.

Kari Farnsworth

May 7, 2015

I wish I could have met you, Uncle Rick. I have known about you all my life. Your family has never forgotten and you are very loved and missed.

Jenni Heslop

May 6, 2015

I would have liked to have met my Uncle Rick. I have known about you all my life, but you were gone before I had the chance to ever meet you. I do know that you were deeply loved and are greatly missed. Our family has never forgotten you.

Jenni Heslop

May 6, 2015

Rick was my husband for only 5 years, but in that time we shared so much. We were so young & thought we had the rest of our lives to spend together, but that was not to be. The worst day of my life was the night a patrolman stood on the porch to tell me there had been an accident & I needed to come to the hospital right away. No matter how much time has passed, I have never forgotten our time together or the pain of the weeks following that horrible night. One never forgets only learns to go on.


May 6, 2015

I was living at Nellis AFB in Nevada when my Dad called to tell us that my sister's husband had been killed in the line of duty. There have been other deaths in the family since then, but Rick's death will remain one of the biggest shocks of my life. Although we will not be at the ceremony on Sat., those who are, will be in our thoughts and prayers. It is a well deserved honor.

Sandy and Dave Heslop
Sister and Brother-in-law

May 6, 2015

On Saturday, May 9th, 2015 the Montana Highway Patrol will be dedicating the stretch of highway where my Brother Rick was killed. It's been 42 years but we still miss him dearly.

Teresa Cornell

May 6, 2015

40 years and still it seems like it was just a few days ago we got that call. He was truly one of the good guys. He was the big brother and felt that he needed to be a positive roll model to for his younger bother and sisters. And he was. As Teresa said, I love him and miss him so much.

Elizabeth Hedtrom Couts

July 19, 2013

40 years ago today I lost my Big Brother. Even though I was only 11 years old when he was taken from us, I miss him every day. I am extremely proud of his service. I love him and miss him more than words can say. Thank you to all who serve!

Teresa Hedstrom Cornell

July 19, 2013

Patrolman Hedstrom,
On today, the 39th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for the citizens of the state of Montana. And to your family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.


U.S. Border Patrol

July 19, 2012

It's been 38 years sence we went to patrol school together,we all miss you.
Ronald T. Kunkel MHP 330 Ret.

Patrolman Ronald T. Kunkel
Montana Highway Patrol

February 10, 2011

Your heroism and service is honored today, the 37th anniversary of your death. Your memory lives and you continue to inspire. Thank you for your service. My cherished son Larry Lasater was a fellow police officer who was murdered in the line of duty on April 24, 2005 while serving as a Pittsburg, CA police officer.

Time never diminishes respect. Your memory will always be honored and revered.

Rest In Peace.

Phyllis Loya

Phyllis Loya
mother of fallen officer Larry Lasater

July 19, 2010

"The Badge"

He starts his shift each day
To respond to calls unknown.
He drives a marked patrol car.
A police officer he is known.

He's paid by the citizens' taxes
To make it safe on the streets.
But he usually has a second job
'Cause a waitress has his salary beat.

Now he doesn't know a holiday
'Cause he works all year round.
And when Thanksgiving and Christmas finally arrive
At his home he cannot be found.

He's cursed and assaulted often,
The one whos blood runs blue.
He seldom ever gets a thanks,
To some he's just a fool.

His friends are always other cops
'Cause people just don't understand
That underneath his badge and gun,
He's just another man.

He knows there might not be a tomorrow
In this world of drugs and crime.
And he gets so mad at the court system
'Cause the crooks don't get any time.

And each day when he leaves for work,
He prays to God above.
Please bring me home after my shift
So I can see the ones I love.

But tonight he stops a speeding car,
He's alone down this ole' highway.
It's just a little traffic infraction.
He does it everyday.

Well, he walks up to the driver's window,
And his badge is shining bright.
He asked the guy for a driver's license,
When a shot rang through the night.

Yes, the bullet hit its mark,
Striking the officer in the chest.
But the Department's budget didn't buy
Each officer a bullet-proof vest.

So he lay on the ground bleeding.
His blood wasn't blue - His blood was red.
And briefly he thought of his loved ones
'Cause in a moment the officer was dead.

In the news they told the story
Of how this officer had died.
And some who listened cared less,
But those who loved him cried.

Well, they buried him in uniform
With his badge pinned on his chest.
He even had his revolver,
He died doing his best.

Written By:
David L. Bell
Richland County Sheriff's Department
Columbia, South Carolina
Used with Special Permission of the Author
Copyright © 1999 - All Rights Reserved
and may not be duplicated without permission

Investigator David L Bell
Richland County Sheriff's Dept., Columbia, SC

December 11, 2007

Loved Ones of Patrolman Hedstrom,

My prayers are with you as you seek to deal with the loss of Richard. I too was struck by a motorist we were chasing, causing some permanent disabilities that I have to deal with every day. The Washington State Patrol was there to help me and put me on the helicopter. My family went through incredible stress during and after the ordeal. The Lord allowed me to survive for His own reasons. My message to you is that brave men like Richard Hedstrom put their lives on the line everyday in the name of Justice. I pray that God's comfort will be with all of you in the days ahead and may you always have fond and loving memories of this courageous patrolman who gave his life in the line of duty.

Chaplain Ron McMurray
Whitman County Sheriff's Office

July 7, 2005

When God Made Police Officers . . .

When the Lord was creating Police Officers, He was into his sixth day of overtime when an angel appeared and said,
"You're doing a lot of fiddling around on this one."

And the Lord said, "Have you read the requirements on this
order? A Police Officer has to be able to run five miles through alleys in the dark, scale walls, enter homes the health inspector wouldn't touch, and not wrinkle their uniform."

"They have to be able to sit in an undercover car all day on a stakeout, cover a homicide scene that night, canvass the neighborhood for witnesses, and testify in court the next day."

"They have to be in top physical condition at all times,
running on black coffee and half-eaten meals, and they have to have six pairs of hands."

The angel shook her head slowly and said, "Six pairs of hands . . . no way!!"

"It's not the hands that are causing me problems," said the Lord, "it's the three pairs of eyes an officer has to have."

"That's on the standard model?" asked the angel.

The Lord nodded. "One pair that sees through a bulge in a pocket before they ask, 'May I see what's in there, sir?'"
(when they already know and wish they'd taken that accounting job) "Another pair here in the side of their head for their partner's safety, and another pair of eyes here in front so they can look reassuringly at a bleeding victim and say, 'You'll be alright, ma'am,' when they know it isn't so."

"Lord," said the angel, touching His sleeve, "rest and work on this tomorrow."

"I can't," said the Lord, "I already have a model that can talk a 250 pound drunk into a patrol car without incident and feed a family of five on a civil service paycheck."

The angel circled the model of the Police Officer very slowly. "Can it think?" she asked.

"You bet," said the Lord, "it can tell you the elements of a hundred crimes, recite Miranda warnings in its sleep, detain, investigate, search, and arrest a gang member on the street in less time than it takes five learned judges to debate the legality of the stop . . . and still it keeps its sense of humor. This officer also has phenomenal personal control. They can deal with crime scenes painted in hell, coax a confession from a child abuser, comfort a murder victim's family, and then read in the daily paper how law enforcement isn't sensitive to the rights of criminal suspects."

Finally, the angel bent over and ran her finger across the cheek of the Police Officer. "There's a leak," she pronounced, "I told you that you were trying to put too much into this model."

"That's not a leak," said the Lord. "It's a tear."

"What's the tear for?" asked the angel.

"It's for bottled-up emotions, for fallen comrades, for commitment to that funny piece of cloth called the American flag, for justice."

"You're a genius," said the angel.

The Lord looked somber. "I didn't put it there," He said.


I am married to Rick's son, Cori. I want to say to Rick: I wish I had a chance to know you.. You are loved and missed..

Nichole Hedstrom

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