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2000 badge with a mourning band

John Harold Larson

Appointed April 1, 1968
End of Tour Saturday, August 10, 1974

Saint Paul, Ramsey County, Minnesota
[Minnesota Death Certificate No. 1974-MN-021946]

Fatally injured in a traffic accident while responding to a call
for emergency assistance.

U.S. Air Force Veteran


Photo of John Larson

At 2335 hours (11:35 p.m.) on Friday, August 9, 1974, Police Officer John Harold Larson1, Badge No. 308, was fatally injured in a traffic accident involving the officer’s police squad and a fire ambulance (truck-van) at the controlled intersection of S. Snelling and Grand Avenues in the City of Saint Paul. Both units were responding to a call for emergency assistance at an earlier reported automobile accident and had their sirens, red lights and “Opticom” systems (traffic signal preemption) activated.

The ambulance “T-boned” the squad broadside on the passenger side, carrying it out of the intersection just south of Grand. Both units were heading to the same emergency call, and the accident took place about fifteen seconds after it was determined that neither emergency vehicle was needed at the other incident (no injuries). Officer Larson died the next morning, Saturday, August 10, 1974 at Saint Paul Ramsey Hospital (now Regions Hospital), of a lacerated liver.

Born on June 20, 1943, and raised in Saint Paul, thirty-one year old John Harold Larson had been with the Police Department since April 1, 1968 (six years), and was currently working the “Power Shift”. Officer Larson had served with the U.S. Air Force from 1961 to 1965, and was employed by the Richfield Police Department from 1965 to 1968, prior to coming to Saint Paul Police Department. He was survived by his wife of nine years, Barbara Jeanne, and two children, Angela Marie and Robert Thomas. Officer Larson’s funeral was held on Tuesday, August 13, 1974, at Holy Spirit Catholic Church, and he is buried at Resurrection Cemetery, Mendota Heights, Minnesota.

1 John Harold Larson was appointed Patrolman April 1, 1968; was fatally injured in a traffic accident while responding to a call for emergency assistance Saturday, August 9, 1974, and died August 10, 1974. He was U.S. Air Force Veteran.