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Former Sartell police chief Bob Ringstrom killed in bike accident

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SARTELL, Minn. — Bob Ringstrom, the former head of the Sartell Police Department, was killed Friday in a bicycle accident.

The department announced Ringstrom's death on Monday in a Facebook post.

"Bob was a respected leader to his staff and the community," said department officials. "He remained connected with much of our staff after retirement and he will be missed."

Officials say Ringstrom, 74, helped create the school resource officer program with Sartell-St. Stephen ISD 748, and he led the department "through an era where professional standards were enhanced... turning the job of policing into a profession."

According to his obituary, Ringstrom was a Marine who served in the Vietnam War and worked as a guard at the American Embassy in Ankara, Turkey. After marrying his wife, Barbara, the two lived in Greece for two years before settling in Mankato.

Retired Chief Bob Ringstrom Sartell Police

Ringstrom was an officer with the Hutchinson Police Department for 12 years before moving to Sartell with his family, where he served as the city's chief of police for 14 years, retiring in 2004.

"Bob was in his happy place at the cabin sitting on the water with an old cigar to chew on," his obituary reads. "More than anything Bob enjoyed his title of 'Papa' as the constant entertainer with his keen sense of humor and consistent funny noises."

Ringstrom is survived by his wife, three daughters and four grandchildren.

His funeral will be held Friday at Sartell's Celebration Lutheran Church at 2 p.m., with a visitation scheduled for Thursday at 4 p.m. He will buried at the Minnesota States Veterans Cemetery in Little Falls.

Instead of flowers, his family encourages people to donate to the Dementia Community Action Network.

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