Community remembers fallen Des Moines Police Officers

Local News

Two Des Moines Police Officers were killed in the line of duty Saturday following a head-on collision on Interstate 80. 

Officers Carlos Puente-Morales,34,  and Susan Farrell,30, were transporting a prisoner to Council Bluffs when they were struck head on by a vehicle driving the wrong way on the interstate. The prisoner in the police vehicle as well as the driver of the second vehicle were also killed in the crash. 

The names of the prisoner and the second driver have not yet been released. 

“This is a very sad day for the Des Moines Police Department as we face a nightmare that no agency ever wants to experience,” said Des Moines Police Chief Dana Wingert. ” Our thoughts and prayers are with the families, we will support them, we will be here for them.”

Both officers were members of the Des Moines Regional Police Academy in October 2015. Chief Wingert says their loss will be very difficult for the department. 

“I wish you would also pray for the police department family as we work through this in the coming days, weeks, months, and years,” said Wingert. “This is something we will live with. Words cannot express what this loss means to this organization. The people that lost their lives are heroes in our minds as they do a very difficult job day in and day out. You never expect a tragedy like this within your own organization.”

A memorial has been set up outside the Des Moines Police Station, where the community is coming to pay their respects. 

“Respect in this organization isn’t just handed out, you have to earn it,” said Sgt. Paul Parizek. “Both Carlos and Susan earned more than their fair-share. Stating in the Academy, then coming back on the street and performing at the level that they did. Both well-respected and well-liked, not just within the organization but outside too.”

Local 5 is learning more about the the two officers. 

Col. Greg Hapgood with the Iowa National Guard has confirmed that Officer Puente-Morales was an active member of the National Guard at the time of his death. Ottumwa Police confirm that Officer Puente-Morales was a former employee of the Ottumwa Police Department. 

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