'We will never forget' Rock County Officer Memorial Ceremony hon - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

'We will never forget' Rock County Officer Memorial Ceremony honors fallen Beloit Police officer

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BELOIT (WKOW) -- Nearly two decades after a Beloit Police officer died from injuries he suffered in the line of duty, the patrolman is honored for his sacrifice.

"Closest to our hearts is Patrol Officer Peter A. Larsen," BPD Chief David Zibolski said.

Larsen was shot in the head on a kidnapping call in 1985, he died fourteen years later.  Larsen was left a quadriplegic and in a comatose state until his death.  His family painstakingly took care of him during the difficult time.

Attached to each BPD squad car is a sticker reference to Larsen's badge number 23. 

"It serves as a reminder he made the ultimate sacrifice to our community," Former Beloit Chief Richard Thomas told the hundred plus in attendance.

Rock County Officer Memorial keynote speaker State Attorney General Brad Schimel spoke about his continued worry for law enforcement's safety.

"It has been a tough year for Wisconsin," he explained, noting the four fallen officer funerals this year.

Thanks to Officer Larsen's sacrifice, however, Schimel says the incident changed a state law about police officer deaths.

"If a person [police officer] lives for some period of time, but ultimately dies of their injury, than you can be charged with their murder," he said.

Schimel says it's clear Officer Larsen leaves a legacy for all to follow.

"We honor their selfless service," he said.  "Not just on this day, during this ceremony, but when every officer begins their watch, their memory lives on, on the thin blue line that keeps us safe," he added.

Schimel says in the coming months, he plans to work on new legislation to help police officer families receive compensation after a loved one dies in the line of duty.

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