Shannon Barron’s widow, Mrs. Laura Barron and Red Lake Chief Conservation Officer, Patrick Graves
Published August 27, 2019
RED LAKE INDIAN RESERVATION Family, friends and co-workers gathered on Friday August 9, 2019 at 1 pm for a presentation of recognition for officer Shannon “Opie” Barron’s family with a letter received from the Office of the Attorney General, Washington, DC and signed by the Attorney General, William P. Barr, just the latest in a series of accolades recognizing Barron’s good work. He passed on July 7.
The event was held at the Red Lake Criminal Justice complex in Red Lake with many of Barron’s co-workers in Public Safety attending. Most wore a lapel pin with a photo of Officer Barron and mourning bands across their badges.
Office Opie Barron
“I presented the letter from Attorney General William P. Barr to Mrs. Laura Barron, Officer Barron’s widow,” said Red Lake Chief Conservation Officer, Patrick Graves. “Also present were officer Shannon Barron’s two daughters, Amanda and Drew, other family members Luella Morgan (aunt who raised him) Maryann Morgan (sister) as well as the Red Lake conservation officers, Joyce Roy (Victim Witness Specialist U.S. Attorney’s office) and Stephanie Cobenais (Crime Victim Advocate RL Nation).”
In the letter from the Attorney General, Barr expressed his “deepest condolences on the tragic loss of your husband, Officer Barron. You and your family are in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.”
Barr continued, “Opie was exactly the kind of man that we look for in a conservation officer. Dedicated to the outdoors, good-humored and big-hearted. His service in that role and as a police officer for four years, demonstrates his exceptional commitment to public service. You husband’s work is a big part of what makes this country so great.”
“While I realize no word of mine can ease you pain or relieve you sorrow, I hope you find some comfort in knowing that Opie’s life and extraordinary service will be revered and remembered by his extended law enforcement family throughout the United States. May you find strength and peace in the days to come.” The letter was signed by William P. Barr, Attorney General.
More About Shannon “Opie” Barron
After nearly two decades as a conservation officer in Red Lake Nation, Shannon “Opie” Barron died near the end of his shift on Sunday July 7, 2019.
“He was a staunch defender when it came to protecting the natural resources of the nation and constantly stood side by side with the officers in the department regardless of the type of call it was,” a coworker said.
Barron graduated from the Indian Police Academy through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Prior to becoming a conservation officer, he served four years as a Red Lake police officer.
After his passing, accolades started pouring in. Multiple organizations and individuals spoke up to recognize Barron’s legacy.
Red Lake Tribal Chairman Darrell Seki, Sr. ordered flags be flown at half-staff in recognition of Barron.
Joyce Roy, a retired Red Lake Police Chief, spoke fondly of Barron and his service as a conservation officer. “I don’t know if there is anybody who can fill his shoes; he was that kind of officer,” Roy said.
His passing also received recognition from various other organizations and news outlets across the state, including WCCO TV in the Twin Cities, the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, The Minnesota Sheriff’s Association and the International Association of Chiefs of Police. The police departments of Eden Prairie and Bloomington both indicated their officers would wear “mourning bands” over their badges in honor of Barron.
“The state of Minnesota and the Red Lake Nation share a common mission when it comes to the protection of natural resources, and Officer Barron’s legacy of upholding that mission will never be forgotten,” said Sarah Strommen, commissioner for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
Barron graduated from Red Lake High School in 1987. He leaves behind his wife Laura and their two daughters, Amanda and Drew.
Photos by Michael Meuers & Red Lake Public Safety