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by Missy Klatt
GLENWOOD CITY — For many in the community, the death of St. Croix County Sheriff Deputy Kaitie Leising in early May of this year while on a call in our area hit many people hard. It also had a big effect on those that she worked with. Cathy Borgschatz was one of those fellow workers hit hard by Kaitie’s death. Borgschatz who retired in June of 2022, as a Chief Deputy, stated that all though their paths only crossed for a short period of time she felt a strong urge to do something.
Karen Humphrey, a retired Jail Captain, approached Borgschatz about doing something. Along with Pastor Larry Szyman, the lead Chaplin for the sheriff’s department, they met with St. Croix County Sheriff, Scott Knudson to figure out a way to honor Kaitie, during their brainstorming they came up with three initiatives.
The first being, to build a St. Croix County Fallen Officer Memorial installation at the Government Center in Hudson to honor our fallen officers.
Second, support Kaitie’s family and the St. Croix County Sheriff’s Office Honor Guard traveling to Washington DC to the Law Enforcement Memorial Ceremony in May 2024.
Third, provide emotional wellness training and support to St. Croix County law enforcement officers and their families.
It was discussed at their meeting that they didn’t want to take money away from any other programs that the county has, to fund this project. It was decided that this would be an entirely community based, grass roots, fund-raising effort to fund these initiatives. Although they don’t know the exact cost of these projects their goal is to raise $600,000.
One way you can help is to buy a T-shirt at the St. Croix Valley PRCA Rodeo this weekend, in Glenwood City. Volunteers will be there selling two different T-shirts, “Take Action” or “Enough is Enough”. Information will also be available about this cause and the volunteers manning the table will be happy to answer any questions you have.
Another way to help out is to visit the website: HonorKaitie.com which is also known as the Deputy Kaitie Leising Remembrance Fund. You will find ways you can donate there and about other upcoming events and fund raisers and ways that you can donate to those.
Even though Borgschatz was one of the initial people who got this project started, she stated that they have many volunteers. It should also be noted that Kaitie’s family has endorsed this project as well.
Borgschatz commented that they are hoping to send 30-40 people to Washington, D.C. in of May 2024, including Kaitie’s family for the Law Enforcement Memorial Ceremony. She also commented that their third initiative, providing emotional wellness is a program that has been going on for about ten years with training for the chaplains. “We want to keep our cops and their families well taken care of in St. Croix County.”
From the officer down memorial page:
Deputy Sheriff Kaitie Leising was shot and killed while investigating a single-vehicle crash involving a drunk driver near the intersection of State Highway 128 and County Road G, south of Glenwood City.
She had been speaking with the driver for approximately eight minutes and requested that he consent to field sobriety tests. The man suddenly produced a handgun and opened fire on Deputy Leising. Despite being mortally wounded, she returned fire but did not strike the subject.
The man ran into nearby woods, where he committed suicide approximately one hour later after other deputies spotted him.
Deputy Leising had served with the St. Croix County Sheriff’s Office for one year and previously served with the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office (South Dakota) for two years. She is survived by her wife, son, parents, sister, and grandmother.
While the above details the end of her life, the HonorKaitie website describes Kaitie with the following:
“Kaitie Leising was known for her confidence, quick wit, eagerness to learn new things, infectious smile, and love and loyalty to others. Those that served with her never heard her complain, she always tried to be positive and find the good in people. Kaitie was always willing and eager to help others around her. Family meant everything to Kaitie, and it was especially apparent in how much she loved her newborn son as he meant the world to her. Kaitie was an amazing person! We will never know what the future would have been or the greatness she would have achieved. But, her incredible impact will be felt forever in the hearts of her family, friends, and this community.”