Remembering Red Lake Conservation Officer Shannon 'Opie' Barron
Red Lake Conservation Officer Shannon ‘Opie’
Regarded by his colleagues as a “staunch defender” of natural resources and a well-respected mentor to younger officers, Conservation Officer Shannon ‘Opie’ Barron suffered a medical emergency after responding to a call on July 7, 2019. Officer Shannon had been an important member of the Red Lake Department of Public Safety since 2000. He is survived by his wife, two children, family, and friends. He was 48.
Services were held for Officer Barron on July 11, 2019.
Backing the Blue Line: The Signature Roses
In the days that followed Officer Barron’s unexpected passing, the Memorial Rose Team quickly gathered volunteers and went to work preparing roses and cards to be given out at Officer Barron’s funeral. Every volunteer is a paid member of Backing the Blue Line and has a significant other working in law enforcement in Minnesota. Quickly and efficiently, the roses were prepped and then relayed from Cottage Grove, MN to Red Lake, MN in 24 hours.
These hand-painted roses are more than just a flower, they are a tangible symbol of the love, support, and sympathy of an entire group of individuals who mourn when one of their members is taken too soon. These roses are meant to be a simple, but a meaningful labor of love to express our deepest sympathy as wives and significant others who understand what it means to love a cop.
As a member wife reflected:
“Tonight, I was honored to stand aside a group of women who gave their time to prepare flowers for an officer’s funeral 
It’s always such an amazing experience to stand with women-some you know, some you have never met and feel united in a bond that few would understand….sad that another wife will need to say goodbye to her husband, but filled with love that a blue line bonds us together and that we will support her as a family.”
Thank you, Officer Barron, for your service to the Red Lake community and your unmatched commitment to protecting our precious Minnesota resources.
A note from the writer:
The first time I paid my dues to Backing the Blue Line was to express my support to another LEO wife while she was mourning the in-explainable loss of her husband.
No one trains you for this. There is no class on “how to show up at a stranger’s funeral.”
But who other than a wife of a police officer understands what it means to “back the blue?”
For all the insurmountable ways she is a stranger, she is also YOU.
And that is why you show up. That is why you hug a stranger and shake hands with family and open your heart to hear memories and stories of a loved-one. A loved-one you never knew. It’s why you let the tears flow, and squeeze a shoulder, or stand in quiet reflection for a hero.
That. She. He. You. THAT is why we #BACKTHEBLUE.
About the writer: Caitlin is a member of Backing the Blue Line member and currently serves as a Sub Chair of the marketing committee. She's also a SWAT attendee, a three-peat Blue Line Ball go-er, and a fierce "heart emoji clicker" in BtBL's private Facebook group. She is a middle school special education teacher and chief chaos coordinator of twin boys. Her dream job would be a talk radio DJ. But only if she could talk about the fluffy stuff. Her husband, a Minnesota State Trooper, has been in law enforcement for 10 years. He is literally and figuratively the brakes to her lead foot.
Join Backing the Blue Line! We invite MN police wives/significant others to become members of Backing the Blue Line to take advantage of all available membership benefits and have additional opportunities to give and receive support. We also invite MN police wives/significant other to join our private Facebook page to belong to a community of support through friendships, networking, and discussion. It is also for raising awareness of the need to support our unique lives and share the bond that comes with being a law enforcement family. Find out more on our About page.