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  1. #1
    gopherpuckfan's Avatar
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    New St. Paul Police Officer (24 years old) Dies Suddenly


    St. Paul police academy grad, 24, dies suddenly

    Recent police academy grad, 24, fell ill suddenly

    Pioneer Press
    Article Last Updated: 01/12/2008 09:34:00 PM CST

    Joseph Plant saw police officers as heroes. It was his dream to join their ranks.

    He lived that dream as a St. Paul street cop for a week.
    On Saturday, the new police officer suddenly fell ill and died. He was 24.

    Plant, who was a runner and was described as "super fit," wasn't on duty at the time. The cause of death wasn't immediately known.

    "One of the things that Joe would say on a regular basis was he was just living the dream. He always wanted to be a police officer," said Sgt. Joshua Lego, academy commandant for Plant's class.

    "He was very fit and a marvelous example of what we want a police officer to be," Lego said. "He was kind-hearted and gentle but able to manage himself physically. He had the very best intentions to work on behalf of the citizens of St. Paul, and he realized that dream."

    Plant graduated from the department's grueling academy in December, and Monday was his first day on patrol. A doctor gave Plant a clean bill of health before he started the academy in October, Lego said. Plant, who wrote on a Web page that he ran marathons and lifted weights, was "super fit" and didn't say anything last week about not feeling well, said officer Mark Ross, Plant's field-training officer.

    Plant felt sick Saturday and went to a doctor and then to Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis, where he died a short time later, Lego said.
    Police Chief John Harrington said he remembered calling Plant to offer him a job and hearing the excitement in his voice, and then seeing him on the first day of the academy in his uniform.

    "He was big-eyed and youthful; he was going to go out there and conquer the world," Harrington said. "That his life would end so suddenly and so tragically is just very hard for me to understand."

    There were 45 people in Plant's academy class, making it the largest in three decades. Still, the group was tightly knit. They gathered at St. Paul police headquarters after learning of Plant's death.

    "We do consider our fellow officers like family," Lego said. "You come to rely on these people day in and day out. That closeness creates a bond of brotherhood."

    Plant's classmates remembered him as "always having a very positive energy, no matter how difficult the training or assignment was," Lego said.

    "Every day, he was smiling," Lego said. "He had a very enthusiastic attitude toward the training and the job."
    Plant grew up in St. Paul and was an Explorer with the city's Police Department as a young man. He remained involved with the program in college and planned to continue his work with the Explorers as a police officer, Lego said.

    Plant was assigned to the department's eastern district, Ross said. "He was eager to learn, and he was just really excited to be a cop in St. Paul," he said. "It's where he grew up. It's all he ever wanted to do."

    Ross had no doubt that Plant would be a great police officer, he said. "I could tell he was going to make my job easy," Ross said. "He just really wanted it."

    Plant's family declined public comment through the Police Department.

    Plant graduated in 2006 from St. Cloud State University with a degree in criminal justice, according to his MySpace page. He graduated in 2002 from North High School in North St. Paul, where he played baseball, basketball and soccer, his page said.
    "Most of us have dreams, and mine is to be a Police Officer," Plant wrote on his MySpace page, which he had last logged onto in October.

    In the "heroes" category, Plant wrote: "My mother. She is the inspiration towards my success. ... The men and women in Law Enforcement (I'll be there soon)."

    As to "who I'd like to meet," Plant wrote: "My father. He passed away before I was born. One day would be fine."
    Mara H. Gottfried covers St. Paul public safety. She can be reached at mgottfried@pioneerpress.com or 651-228-5262.
    The views expressed in the above post are the sole opinion of the author and do not reflect any official position by the author's employer and/or municipality.

  2. #2
    Trojan 42's Avatar
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    That's tragic! My thoughts are with his family and friends.
    To be born an Englishman, is to be a winner in the Lottery of Life.

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  3. #3
    gopherpuckfan's Avatar
    gopherpuckfan is offline I'm from the government and I'm here to help
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    One of our former CSO's just graduated from the same academy. I can't imagine how they're feeling.
    The views expressed in the above post are the sole opinion of the author and do not reflect any official position by the author's employer and/or municipality.

  4. #4
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    how sad for his family, one of those unexplained tragedy's
    The weak serve no purpose. Doubt and fear are the great enemies of knowledge.
    James Allen
    with that said, don't sweat the petty things, just pet the sweaty things, k?

  5. #5
    Jenna's Avatar
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    Rest in peace.

  6. #6
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    How very sad you leave us so soon! Rest in peace and serve with St Michael with pride and dignity.

    Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence.
    [George Washington (1732 - 1799)]

  7. #7
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    Very sad. My thoughts and praeyers to the family and friends.
    Lead from the front and always remember those who came first.

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  8. #8
    ex401mp's Avatar
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    Damn he was young. How sad. RIP
    Only two defining forces have ever offered to die for you, Jesus Christ and the American G.I.
    One died for your soul, the other for your freedom. ~ Anon

    si hic carrus commovet non quaerete

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  9. #9
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    Rest easy rook. Now you're on to a new phase of FTO.
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  10. #10
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