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Helping the widows of fallen law enforcement officers

todayMay 15, 2024 2

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SOUTH DAKOTA (KELO) — Wednesday, May 15th is National Police Officers Memorial Day; a day set aside to honor the men and women who died in the line of duty.

A South Dakota woman has been doing her part to help the widows of fallen officers, because unfortunately, she knows firsthand the sacrifices law enforcement officers make dedicating their lives to keeping our communities safe.

“This is the first time I’ve worked with a widow who I knew previously,” Jamie Mechels-Rowe said.

Jamie Mechels-Rowe and Renee Prorok have something in common. Both are widows of fallen officers who died in the line of duty.

Ken Prorok died earlier this year during a high-speed pursuit he was killed while attempting to put down a spike strip.

“Jamie has been a Godsend, she came out to the house after Ken was killed and helped us through that process which was overwhelming because there are so many pieces that go into a line of duty death and through the whole process has been a listening ear and has been texting and checking in and those types of things,” Prorok said.

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15 years ago Mechels-Rowe found herself in a similar heartbreaking situation when her husband, Turner County Deputy Sheriff Chad Mechels, was shot and killed in the line of duty during a well-being check.

She wants to be a shoulder for others to lean on, because she knows how difficult it can be to try and navigate all those emotions.

She says she had to do it alone.

“No, there was no me for me and that’s why I do what I do; work with the families of fallen officers or any law enforcement deaths, I work with the families,” Mechels-Rowe said.

Including the Proroks who are still feeling their loss.

“Each day is different grief, it’s an emotional rollercoaster; one day I’ve got it I’ve got it, you know, I can handle this and process it, and then there are other days where you shed a few tears and you work through it, but we are doing okay,” Prorok said.

A little bit of that has to do with their two sons, JD and Thomas, who play baseball together.

“Everybody else gets to go back to normal and you’re stuck trying to find your new normal and this has been a longer-term thing with JD and Thomas and Renee with this connection, yeah we’ve really had this bond that’s formed,” Mechels-Rowe said.

Written by: The Dam Rock Station

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