Officer Mark Bedard

Officer Mark Bedard, 34
Park Police
Appointed June 20, 1997
End of Watch Nov. 9, 2007

Officer Bedard was injured while chasing a suspect on Nov. 1, 2007, and died eight days later from his injuries.

Police had received a 911 call from a person who had been shot at by occupants of a car. Police officers reported to the scene and pursued the vehicle, which crashed into a tree. The driver fled, running between residences. Bedard was pursuing the driver on foot. Bedard ran out from between two garages, colliding with the squad car.

Bedard had broken bones, a collapsed lung, and a torn aorta. During surgery to repair his injuries, his heart stopped twice, which caused a severe stroke. Bedard died at North Memorial Medical Center.

In 1996, Bedard was recognized with a Medal of Commendation for securing a chaotic scene during a north Minneapolis shootout, during which the windshield of his squad car was shot. Bedard had a gift with words. He persuaded a suicidal citizen not to jump off the Franklin Avenue Bridge. He was a frequent speaker at area schools. Once he was called to a school to help with a 5-year-old student who was out of control. Within minutes, he and the boy were walking down the hall, hand in hand.

“Mark understood that his job was to protect and serve, but he wanted to go the extra mile,” said Jon Olson, president of the Minneapolis Park Board.

Off the job, Bedard’s priority was his family. He also enjoyed hunting and fishing. He led a team of Park Police officers in the Polar Plunge fund-raiser to benefit Special Olympics. Park Police Chief Brad Johnson’s son is a Special Olympics participant.“We lost a dear colleague and friend,” said Johnson.

More than 1,500 people gathered for the funeral services at the Basilica of Saint Mary. Before the services began, hundreds of offices from around the state stood shoulder to shoulder as Bedard’s body was taken inside the church. After the services, Bedard’s body was taken to Lakewood Cemetery for interment in a caravan that included squad cars from law enforcement agencies around the state, fire trucks, and ambulances. Positioned at the cemetery gates were two fire trucks, with their ladders upraised to form a V, and an American flag hanging down the middle.

Bedard was survived by his wife, Andi, and 2-year-old son, Nic.