Humanizing the badge: Former police officer discusses perils of the job

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ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. – Fighting crime, taking on criminals, and facing dangers every day.

Retired officer Juan Wilson knows far too well what it’s like to be in a life and death situation. He was a police officer for 11 years with the St. Charles Police Department.

Wilson said he still has nightmares from an incident 7 years ago while working undercover. He was robbed at gunpoint and, for some strange reason, the suspect did not pull the trigger.

“I’m thankful the time I was able to spend in law enforcement. I was able to come home. Not everybody gets that opportunity,” he said. “We should show support law enforcement.”

The shooting death of North County Police Cooperative officer Michael Langsdorf on Sunday is another tragic example of the many dangers officers face.

Wilson said his heart goes out to Langsdorf’s family.

Langsdorf was killed Sunday in Wellston after responding to a call for a bad check being passed at a local business. Prosecutors said 26-year-old Bonnette Kymbrelle Meeks was trying to cash a bad check written out for $6,000.

A struggle ensued between Langsdorf and Kymbrelle, ending with Kymbrelle pulling a pistol from his waist and shooting Langsdorf.

Meeks allegedly confessed to the crime and was charged with murder.

“Some of those calls that you expect to be routine becomes your bizarre calls and most dangerous calls too. There are no routine calls, you never know what is going to happened,” Wilson said.

The retired officer stopped by the memorial that continues to grow: a cruiser decorated with cards, flowers, balloons, and special “thank you” notes in honor of the slain officer.

Wilson used his social media platform and his ‘Send Me’ brand to share the sacrifices first responders make every day. His video posted on YouTube sits at over a million views and he has received calls of support from Germany, Amsterdam, and elsewhere.

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