Basketball Game Honors Fallen Cold Spring Officer

Updated: 03/17/2013 8:40 PM By: Katherine Johnson

In basketball, there are plenty of plays that can stop the clock.

But Cold Spring officer Craig Kritzeck knows time is still ticking - each second another without his friend, classmate and former colleague, officer Tom Decker.

"There's times it feels like it was just yesterday," said Kritzek. "Thinking about him, waking up and seeing his face..."
Decker was killed in the line of duty in November when someone shot him while he and his partner were responding to a call.

"Everybody's coping the best they can and were doing absolutely the best we can with it," he said.

That's why law enforcement from throughout Dakota County are gathering to play in the third annual "Ballin in D.C." basketball tournament in Apple Valley. This year, all proceeds go to help the Decker family.

"He paid the ultimate sacrifice for protecting the citizens of Minnesota and its the very least we can do," said Sgt. Booker Hodges with the Dakota County Sheriff's Department.

Last year, officers raised more that $1,500 through the tournament.

"Tommy would be overwhelmed with all the support that's come through," said Kritzek.

Some of the officers, including Kritzeck, just finished the night shift but are still bringing their best to help the family of their fellow member of the force.

"We just want to make sure that we honor that and we never forget people like officer Decker," said Sgt. Hodges.

"As long as we can keep his memory going and everybody remembers what happened, that's all we can really ask for right now," said Kritzek.