Trooper David DeLaittre with the Montana Highway Patrol gave the ultimate sacrifice 12 years ago. His father, along with dozens of other community members gathered in Three Forks at his memorial on Thursday.
“He was 23 years old when he was killed, but he started his career when he was about 21 years old. He was a hard-working kid and a likable kid,” says Denny DeLaittre, the father of David.
David DeLaittre was shot and killed during a traffic stop on Dec. 1, 2010. Trooper DeLaittre served MHP for two years and died at 23 years old. His Father Denny established a memorial as a way to remember his late son.
“I wanted these officers to be remembered a little bit more than just their name on the wall,” says Denny.
MHP Sergeant Jay Nelson worked with Trooper DeLaittre and says he was an exceptional addition to the force.
“He was always eager to go out and to work and to do better and he had such a bright future ahead of him,” says Sergeant Nelson.
Every year, members of MHP and the community gather at the memorial to remember DeLaittre and other fallen troopers.
“It was their duty to serve," says Nelson, "It's our duty to remember.”
Sergeant Nelson says MHP works hard to train its troopers to prevent encounters like DeLaittre's from happening.
“We have a program called Deadly Encounters where we put young troopers as well as old troopers every year back into scenarios just like the scenario David was in,” says Nelson.
With all the love and support from the community, Denny DeLaittre couldn't be more appreciative.
“The support we have in this community, the surrounding community, the law enforcement community. It's just unbelievable,” says Denny.