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'Family of law enforcement': Des Moines police reflect on losses as Algona community mourns

What happened on Wednesday night in Algona hit close to home for members of the Des Moines Police Department.

DES MOINES, Iowa — The news of Algona Police Department Ofc. Kevin Cram's death hit a lot of law enforcement departments hard this week, but it hit Des Moines Police Department Sgt. Paul Parizek close to home.

That's because it reminded him of when Des Moines police lost three officers lives back in 2016. Two officers died in a drunk driving car crash and his friend, officer Tony Beminio, was shot and killed on duty nearly seven years ago alongside Urbandale's Ofc. Justin Martin.

"We just weren't ready for the emotions that came when we knew that our friends have been murdered," Parizek reflected. "It's a different impact."

It's an impact that has truly swept through Algona this week. A city of a little more than 5,000 residents, about two and a half hours from Parizek and the Des Moines Police Department.

Parizek said he and his department know exactly what Algona police are going through now.

Parizek also said he understands how hard it is not just to lose a coworker, but also to lose someone you considered as "family."

"The resiliency in law enforcement is amazing, because this happens, and we don't just get to hang a 'closed sign' in our window. You know, we have to come back to work," Parizek said. "And we have to provide the same level of service that we were providing the day before this happened."

But as Algona saw Thursday, the support of the people around them keeps communities and police departments together.

"Looking back at our experience, without a doubt, the community support carried us through," Parizek said. "You see that in Algona, we've seen it in other communities. That family of law enforcement is always going to be there."

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