In Memory of Police Officer Theodore James Ohlemeier
Kansas residents were saddened to hear the news that a local police officer had died in the line of duty. On Wednesday, December 8, 2021, Police Officer Theodore James Ohlemeier, badge number CO-222, has died due to complications from contracting COVID19 while on duty. Officer Ohlemeier was 58 years old. He had more than 33 years of experience as a law enforcement officer.
COVID19 has cost the lives of hundreds of thousands of Americans and even more globally. The virus has become the number one cause of line of duty deaths for law enforcement agencies everywhere. Federal legislation was initiated to ensure that law enforcement families are protected financially. Active-duty officers who contract the virus and lose their lives are deemed a “line-of-duty” death so that families will not suffer significant financial loss.
Police Officer Theodore Ohlemeier was a veteran of law enforcement. He most recently worked with the Colwich Police Department, where he has been a member for over three years. Previously, Ohlemeier served for twenty years with the Derby Police Department, eight years with the Clearwater Police Department, and one year with the Caldwell Police Department.
Colwich Police Department, Kansas
Police Officer Ohlemeier was a leader at the Colwich Police Department. The Colwich Police Department often is backed up by the Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office. The CPD, located in Colwich, Kansas, is a small department focused on deterring crime, investigations, and serving as first responders to local emergencies.
CPD takes calls 24 hours, but officers are on call rather than on duty. The agency has four sworn officers that cover a jurisdiction of 1.33 square miles and provide services to a population of approximately 1200 residents. Due to the department’s small size, the agency is backed up by the county sheriff’s department. The department also cross-trains its officers to be prepared for any time of emergency to help protect residents.
Police Officer Theodore James Ohlemeier leaves behind his wife, two daughters, and three sisters. The Ohlemeier family will join the hundreds of thousands of American families who have lost a loved one to the virus. Honors were performed for Ohlemeier’s service to commemorate the occasion, honor his service, and show gratitude for the sacrifice made on behalf of others.
The Colwich Police Department shared the news of the loss with residents on Facebook. “It is with heavy hearts and great sadness that we begin to mourn the loss of former Caldwell Police Officer TJ Ohlemeier. Tj was the definition of a community-minded police officer; he offered every citizen a smile, and more often than not, his famous “dad” jokes. We enjoyed having TJ in our community while he was and are heartbroken for those who mourn with us. Once memorials and arrangements have been made, we will update the community as we are able.”
Resident Sheri Eckerman was saddened to hear about the loss. “He was such a good person and a great law enforcement officer in our community; we were lucky to have him. Very sad news; God bless his family.”
After receiving a speeding ticket from him, Jason Gamble became a friend of Ohlemeier’s. “He gave me my first ever speeding ticket! As we laughed as he wrote it and told me, I left him no choice! Lol. We were fortunate to have him and several others that were great at handling all us knuckleheads! RIP, old friend!”