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Minnesota sheriff's "Officer Down Memorial Podcast" drawing an international audience

Nov 15, 2022 10:06AM ● By Content Editor
Photo: CBS

By John Lauritsen - CBS Minnesota News - November 14, 2022

A sheriff in southern Minnesota is doing his part to make sure fallen officers aren't forgotten.

Two years ago, Dodge County Sheriff Scott Rose started the Officer Down Memorial Podcast.

"My wife will tell you, too, she married a rock and roll DJ. She didn't marry a cop," said Rose.

As a lifelong guitarist and a former radio DJ, Scott Rose never imagined he'd one day become a county sheriff. But when his radio career ended, he went from the studio to the patrol car.

"When I started doing ride-alongs I got hooked on it," said Rose. "I wanted to do my small part in making the community a safer place for my kids to grow up."

Two years ago he found a way to combine his love for audio production and law enforcement, by starting his own podcast - something he knew nothing about. 

What he did know is that he wanted to honor fallen officers in Minnesota.

"I worked with survivor families for years, so I know there is so much more to these stories," said Rose. "That's their biggest fear. They don't want these stories to be forgotten."

The Officer Down podcast was initially intended for local audiences, but it grew quickly. Rose's following is now international, with people sending him stories all the time.

He researches, gathers 911 calls and does interviews with family members and fellow officers, before recording each podcast in his home studio.

"I shed a tear with every one of these stories. And with a lot of the callers and a lot of the people that I interview," said Rose.

One of his recent podcasts is about Minneapolis Police Officer Jerry Haaf, who was shot and killed by gang members in 1992. Amwati Pepi McKenzie, one of the men convicted in Haaf's death, has a hearing on Tuesday to consider whether he should be granted supervised release.

"Jerry was killed not because of who he was but because of what he was. He was killed because he was a cop," said Rose.

The ultimate goal is to make listeners feel like they know the fallen officer and their family so people learn about the person behind the badge.

"Part of that is to show people that may be on the fence about law enforcement that 99% of these men and women are heroes," said Rose. "I find it very rewarding."

Sheriff Rose has recorded 40 podcasts so far and they are available anywhere you can access podcasts.

After winning re-election last week, he says this will be his last term. But when he retires he said he will continue to tell these stories and work with families of fallen officers.

To read this original story and more news, follow this link to the CBS Minnesota News website.