A number of police officers from the Mankato Department of Public Safety are among the hundreds who will be on hand Thursday for the funeral of Wayzata Officer Bill Mathews.
Deputy Director Amy Vokal says it’s important to have Mankato officers there, both as a show of support for the law enforcement family and as a way to grieve for a lost colleague.
Vokal also says the death of Mathews is a reminder of the dangers that police officers face on a daily basis. She adds that that the daily dangers have become even more of an issue considering how much time officers spend on the roads combined with the proliferation of drivers using cell phones.
Mathews was killed last week when he was removing debris from a highway and was struck by an SUV.
The unlicensed SUV driver, 54-year-old Beth Freeman of Mound, was allegedly under the influence of drugs, and texting on her cell phone. She’s been charged with criminal vehicular homicide.
Mathews’ wife and seven-year-old son say serving as a law enforcement officer was Bill’s calling and a duty that he performed with pride and dignity.