Minnesota Law Enforcement Memorial Association
Children on steps of the MN state memorial

Steps of the MN state Memorial

The Minnesota Law Enforcement Memorial Association was formed in 1974 by Jim Crawford, then Chief of Police in Golden Valley, MN. LEMA was founded with the sole purpose of building a memorial to Minnesota peace officers who had died in the line of duty. This memorial was designed and the fundraising began. In 1977, the beautiful granite memorial was erected in the main concourse of the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. The memorial remained on display there until it was moved to its new home in the centerpiece of the Peace Officer's Memorial on the capitol grounds in St. Paul.

Once the memorial was built, LEMA expanded its service to include granting college scholarships to the immediate family members of fallen officers. Nearly $100,000 in scholarships have been awarded. LEMA also sponsors an annual memorial service hosted by departments around the state. This service is held the first Sunday in May of each year. It is at this service that a ribbon bearing the name of each officer lost in the line of duty during the year is installed permanently on the LEMA flag. This service also includes the reading of the Honor Roll, the list of names of fallen Minnesota officers. As of January 1, 2005, this list includes the names of 223 officers dating back to 1881.

Other services provided by LEMA include Police Week activities, including the Memorial Guard and Candlelight Service.