Family, Friends & Fellow Officers Remember...

Detective Sergeant Donald Robert Laabs

Manitou Springs Police Department, Colorado

End of Watch Thursday, December 18, 1975

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Reflections for Detective Sergeant Donald Robert Laabs

I worked with Donnie for a.little over a year as the military police lieason for the Manitou Springs Police Department, and became close friends. I was very saddened by the loss of an extremely good police officer and friend.

Jerry Smith, 1Sgt. USA (ret)

January 12, 2021

Rest in peace Detective Sergeant Laabs.

Rabbi Lewis S. Davis

September 23, 2020

Donnie and I worked together for 2 years in the MSPD patrol and traffic division, along with an occasional assignment to narcotics. In a small 10 man department, it wasn't uncommon to cross over and assist other officers. Donnie and became friends after he and his family came to Colorado. By coincidence he moved into a house that was two blocks from my wife and I. I had grown up in Security, Colorado; small town on south side of Colo. Spgs. I learned a lot from Donnie in the time we woked together. Anyone that ever worked with him or knew of him, could tell you how great he was at his job. I think that with his blonde curly hair and that Jersey accent, he could do a drug deal with anyone; in fact, while waiting for one of our case to be called he bought a bag of grass from a guy sitting next to us. Turned the baggie and the money over to a uniform and went back into the courtroom. He could do the job anywhere. I can only remember the approximately 600 police cars lining both sides of West Colo. Ave while filing into the church, then into the cemetary up in Manitou Springs. I was honored to be one of the honor guard that watched over his casket unit that trip to the cemetary. I'll never forget you Donnie and I hope you enjoy the conversations when I'm feeling down. One of the brightest moments of my life was when Larry Martin, Head of DA's investigators for El Paso County, came into my business and stated that we hav solved the murder of our collegue and friend. Praise God!
Larry Martin

Larry Rawlinson, Sr Officer
Manitou Springs Police Department, Manitou Spgs., CO.

January 19, 2019

My name is also Don. Don Laabs and I met when I returned from Vietnam in 66'. We both got stationed at Ft. Carson. Both of us were from New Jersey and became best friends on the spot. He and I and our wives would get together quite often. When we got out of the Army and went back to New Jersey we would get out to hunt and fish quite often. He started doing some narcotics work with various local Police departments in the area. I know that he felt that things were getting a bit HOT for him here at the time so he went to a couple of other States to do some work. But it didn't matter where he or I was or what he or I was doing we would always track each other down at least once or twice a year. In 1975 I didn't hear from him and by 1976 I never heard from him again and knew something was wrong. When I tried to find him through his parents I found that they had moved and I could find no return address. Through the years I had tried phone info all over the place and found nothing, until 12 or so years ago I found someone living in Colo Springs with the same name, but it wasn't him. He advised me that there had been a police officer in Manitou Springs several years ago with the same name who had been killed in the line of duty. It was my buddy, Don. I called Colo Springs and spoke with Peter Hannon, who told me about his Dad being Don's partner. Don may you rest in peace my friend one day we will fish together again. You have always been in my heart, may God Bless you. Thank you for your military and police service. You are indeed a hero. Your Friend always, Don Salonis

Sp E-5
US Army Vietnam Vet

November 23, 2014

SGT Laabs, my father Det.John Hannon had the chance of working with you at the Manitou P/D , And i allso remember you all so ,My Father came home and told my mother and me about what happend and i can tell you it was real hard for my father, to hold back all the emo that had been in him, thank you for your service as a police officer, EOW Reast in Peace Sgt Laabs, Peter Hannon

Det.john hannon

March 29, 2013

Rest in Peace, Sergeant Laabs. Your sacrifice is not forgotten.

Officer 11169

January 28, 2012

Your heroism and service is honored today, the 36th 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 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
Mom of fallen California Officer Larry Lasater, Pittsburg PD, eow 4/24/05

December 18, 2011

Detective Sergeant Laabs - Two Fridays ago I stood in the State Assembly chambers when your name was one of the almost 250 read off during a vote regarding next month's Police Memorial Week. You are not forgotten. Thank you for your service to the people of Manitou Springs and the state of Colorado. May God grant you eternal rest and may his perpetual light shine upon you.

Chief K. Moreland (Ret. Sgt.)
Palmer Lake, CO PD (Ret. LAPD)

May 4, 2010

Donny, You were a great friend and it was my profound honor to serve with you. I have told the details of your death to thousands of officers throughout this nation while training them. I firmly believe that the story of your tragic murder has in turn served to save many officers lives. Thank you for your friendship and service.
You are in my thoughts often.

Dan Sinawski CO Law Enf. Coord. - Ret.
Friend and fellow officer at time

December 8, 2009

The last time I spoke to my son Donald, I said to him, “Don, law enforcement can be a very dangerous job.” His response to me was, ”Dad I really love my job and all the people I work with.”

Robert F Laabs

April 9, 2009

Remembering you today and always.

May 16, 2008

Thinking of you on this anniversary of your EOW. You have not been forgotten. Continue to keep watch over your loved ones and those still out on patrol guarding the Thin BLue Line.

Bob Gordon
Father of Michael P. Gordon, EOW: 8/8/04

December 18, 2007

YOu are remembered today and thank you Sir for your service, it is unfortunate and sad that no one has been held accountable for your death.

Pat Van Den Berghe, Manchester, NH
Neighbors for a Better Manchester, NH

December 10, 2007

"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

September 25, 2007

Sgt. Labbs,
I remember meeting you when I was 4-5 yers old in Manitou Springs just before that terrible day of your passing. the Time I knew you meant a lot to me. You were such an incredible person, and I was so impressed that you were a police officer. Once I heard of your passing and no one has been apprehended for your death. I think of you all the time and everyday in my own police work. Please be with me, and look over all of us that put on the uniform or work undercover. you still mean alot to me.

Police officer for the state of Colorado

Police officer

August 9, 2007

Rest in peace. Your sacrifice has been forgotten.. God Bless ..

Patrol Officer
W.P.P.D , Colorado

May 24, 2007

Heroes and the sacrifices they make are never forgotten. Detective Laabs, you are a true hero and you are not forgotten.

Salem, Va

December 18, 2006

SGT.Laabs your work on this Earth as we know it is done. You are in God's Care now. May you rest in peace brother.

SGT. Daryl Brewer
Clarksville Police Dept. Clarksville, Tennessee

May 13, 2006



December 18, 2005

Donny, your death made no sense at all to the many cops in the El Paso County area who knew and respected you. Several times in the years since your passing I believed I had something that might take us to your killer, but it all came up dead ends. I'll never stop trying buddy. You are not forgotten.

Investigator Ivan Esau
Custer County Colorado Sheriff's office

June 6, 2004

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