Osseo Police Mourn Two Longtime Colleagues
Two Osseo police officers took an oath and served side-by-side in the 1980s. Today, the police department honors their memory.
Former Osseo Police Chief Mike Haller died in late October. His colleague, former officer Randy Williams, passed weeks later. Now, current Osseo Police Chief Shane Mikkelson, remembers their legacy in tandem.
“They were together from the late 80’s all the way through until they both retired about the same time,” Mikkelson said. “Really, what it has done is brought to the forefront what it is like to lose people, and so young. Neither one of them were very old.”
The two made a mark on Osseo, inspiring future generations of officers — including Mikkelson.
As Mikkelson considered the variety of lessons he learned from the pair, he said Williams emphasized the power of community and connection.
“To have 50 to 60 police officers at your memorial service — which he didn’t even want. His wife did it because people wanted it to happen, really shows the type of human being he was,” Mikkelson said.
They also reminded him the value of a second chance.
“They were forgiving, they never held anything over your head,” Mikkelson said. “They said ‘the past is the past, let’s work from here forward.'”
Haller and Williams helped grow the small department together.
Under Heller’s leadership, Mikkelson said the police department moved buildings and grew in size, but ultimately stayed small.
A Legacy of Connection For the Osseo Police Department
Haller and Williams also played a critical role in bridging officers with different communities. It was one of his biggest takeaways from those former colleagues.
“Get to know people from all the different agencies,” Mikkelson said. “They are going to be your backup. We want to trust each other, we want to know each other.”
The two left a legacy that Mikkelson said he is proud to follow.
“That is probably the image I will always remember — not them as police officers or within policing, it is more of who they were as people,” Mikkelson said.