Savage police officer critically hurt as car crashes

  • Article by: PAUL WALSH , Star Tribune
  • Updated: January 2, 2012 - 9:25 PM

Policeman's squad car slid off a highway and into a tree in Savage as he sped to assist other officers who were looking for a prowler.

Frank Mackall sworn in as Savage police officer.

A Savage police officer remained in critical condition Monday evening after his car slid off a road and slammed into a tree as he rushed to respond to a report of a prowler.

Officer Frank Mackall's squad car went off the icy road on Glendale Road near 137th Street at about 1 a.m. Monday, according to the State Patrol. Mackall, 39, was taken to North Memorial Medical Center in Robbinsdale, said Savage Police Captain David Muelken.

"We're all just hoping and praying for a good outcome," said Savage Mayor Janet Williams, who said she knew him better than most of the officers in the department owing to a mutual interest in mental health issues.

Mackall, who was alone in the squad car, was on his way to assist three other officers several blocks away on a report of a prowler, Muelken said.

The news shot through town so quickly that a few hours afterward, Williams was hearing in a coffee shop downtown that the person "who called in the report of a window peeper felt just awful" knowing what happened as a result.

The squad car was heading north on Glendale when it skidded on icy blacktop and hit a tree off to the left, the patrol said.

Mackall, who is married and has three children under the age of 15, lives in Shakopee. His wife, Lisabeth, is a speech pathologist.

He's one of three trained crisis intervention officers in Savage's department, equipped to deal with people with mental health issues, the mayor said, and in that capacity -- and given her own involvement -- she has seen him give a couple of talks.

"That type of training is really beneficial in de-escalating situations," she said, "whether it's domestic violence or mental health."

He's one of 32 members of the Savage police force, where he has served since July 2008. He worked previously with the Woodbury Police Department for about six months. He moved to Minnesota from Ohio in 2004 and received a law enforcement degree from Metropolitan State University.

In an interview with the Savage Pacer newspaper soon after he was sworn in, Mackall said that "being a police officer is something I always wanted to do when I lived in Ohio. ... This is not your basic 9-to-5 job. There's always a new challenge, and that is what I was looking for."

Staff writer David Peterson contributed to this article. Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482

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