VINITA PARK, Mo. - A fallen police officer from the St. Louis area has been named the first honoree of the state’s “Back the Blue” award.
“Our intention is to get around the state and honor the men and women across Missouri. But the very first one is here today,” said Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt. “They deserve to be respected and, in some instances, when officers give the ultimate sacrifice, like Officer Langsdorf.”
Schmitt presented the inaugural award to Officer Langsdorf's family at Vinita Park City Hall on Monday morning.
Langsdorf was shot and killed while he was responding to a bad check complaint at a Wellston business on June 23. He leaves behind his parents, fiancée, and two children.
“He was, I think, born to serve others. He put others first,” said his fiancée, Kim Haag.
His father, Jerry Langsdorf, delivered an emotional tribute to his son after the award was presented.
“He would take care of the young kids playing on the playground. He would take care of all families in this community,” he said.
Bess Langsdorf, Officer Langsdorf’s mother, spoke about the fallen officer’s legacy.
“He was a great son. He was a good father. A wonderful friend. And a great fiancée. We just hope, in the years to come, that people remember him, also,” she said.
The remembrance of the fallen hero continues throughout the community.
Over the weekend, a tree was planted in Langsdorf’s honor, outside Vinita Park City Hall.
The accompanying plaque reads, “Planted in Memory of P.O.M. Langsdorf. A duty to serve. Our duty to remember. Rooted in Love, Always in Our Hearts.”