A portion of Hwy. 36 that runs through North St. Paul would be designated the “Officer Richard Crittenden Memorial Highway” under a legislative proposal to honor the only officer from that city to lose his life in the line of duty.

State Rep. Leon Lillie, DFL-North St. Paul, and state Sen. Chuck Wiger, DFL-Maplewood, have each offered bills to honor Crittenden, who while responding to a domestic disturbance Sept. 7, 2009, was fatally shot by a man who was at his estranged wife’s apartment illegally.

“It’s a small way for us to show our deep appreciation to him,” Wiger said. A statue of Crittenden, funded with private donations, also stands outside the North St. Paul City Hall and police station at 2400 Margaret St.

Minnesota has a tradition of designating and marking highways for people who have left significant legacies of service, such as Olson Highway named for former Gov. Floyd B. Olson.

The long list includes a number of fallen law enforcement officers who have been similarly honored. Those include highways named for Lino Lakes police officer Shawn Silvera, who was killed in 2005 on Interstate 35 near Forest Lake in a high-speed chase; State Patrol officer Ted Foss, who was struck and killed in 2000 near Winona by a semitrailer-truck while making a routine traffic stop on Interstate 90, and State Patrol officer Timothy Bowe, killed in a gun battle near Hwy. 95 west of North Branch in 1997.

Jim Anderson