St. Croix County Sheriff remembers fallen Dep. Kaitie Leising

St. Croix County Sheriff's office displays a memorial for fallen sheriff's deputy Kaitie Leising.
St. Croix County Sheriff's office displays a memorial for fallen sheriff's deputy Kaitie Leising.(WEAU)
Updated: May. 9, 2023 at 11:00 PM CDT
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - A funeral for Deputy Kaitie Leising, who was killed in the line of duty Saturday, May 6th, will be held Friday, May 12th.

Tuesday, the St. Croix County Sheriff spoke more about the life and impact of Deputy Leising.

“She was a wonderful deputy,” said St. Croix County Sheriff Scott Knudson. “Her smile says it all. You can see in that photo; I don’t think anybody told her to smile for that photo. That was Kaitie. That’s how she did her job.”

Leising served with the St. Croix County Sheriff’s Department since 2022, with nothing but praise from her coworkers.

“You know, it was always, you know, everybody says, ‘Well, if you have a bad day, talk to Kaitie, because your bad day is done,’” said Knudson. “You can’t stay salty when you talk to Kaitie, and that was the absolute truth. She just had that spirit.”

In the wake of Leising’s death, Sheriff Knudson commended the support of fellow law enforcement departments, as well as the surrounding community.

“You know, coming back from Ramsey County on Sunday, bringing Kaitie home into Wisconsin with the overpasses lined with people showing their support: It was a hero’s return home for her, and that was well deserved,” Knudson stated.

While Leising’s death marks the first officer down in the line of duty in St. Croix County since the 1950′s, it represents a growing trend in Wisconsin since the turn of the century.

“Wisconsin right now has the highest law enforcement officers killed in the last 20 years. We’re in May! What does our future hold,” posed Knudson.

Governor Tony Evers also spoke on Leising’s passing Tuesday, calling for more to be done to keep officers safe.

“We shouldn’t be having to go to funerals of police officers,” Evers stated. “We should be welcoming them back home, you know? After they finish their shift, they should have dinner with their families and all the things that all the rest of us have.”

Leising’s funeral is set for Friday, May 12th, following a public visitation hosted at Hudson High School from 9:00 am - 12:00 pm.

“It was always, how she did her job, was treating people well; that’s how she showed up at calls,” said Knudson, gesturing again at Leising’s smiling photograph. “She treated people with dignity and respect. She made my job easy, so we thank her for that sacrifice, but how she did her job every day. What a wonderful young lady.”

Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald says in lieu of flowers, Leising’s family would instead like donations given to the National Law Enforcement Memorial.

Donations can be sent to WESTconsin Credit Union. Checks should be written to “Benefit of Deputy Leising,” and can be dropped off at any branch. Checks can also be dropped off at the St. Croix County Sheriff’s office.