Police Officer Ryan P. Copeland
McFarland Police Department, Wisconsin
End of Watch: Monday, November 23, 2015
Tour of Duty: 3 years
Badge Number: K8435
Cause of Death: Automobile accident
Date of Incident: November 23, 2015
Weapon Used: Not available
Suspect Info: Not available
Agency Contact Information
Chief of Police Craig J. Sherven
McFarland Police Department
5915 Milwaukee Street
PO Box 110
McFarland, WI 53558
Phone: (608) 838-3151
Police Officer Ryan Copeland was killed in a vehicle collision on County Highway N, near Bublitz Road in the town of Albion, at approximately 12:30 pm.
He was just beginning his shift and was traveling westbound when a Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources pickup truck crossed the center line and struck his patrol car head-on. Officer Copeland succumbed to his injuries at the scene.
Officer Copeland was a U.S. Army veteran and had served with the McFarland Police Department for three years.
Officer Ryan Copeland has been with the McFarland Police Department since 2013. Before that, he served 10 years active duty in the United States Army, which included time as a green beret and sniper.
NBC15 sat down with Dane County Sheriff Dave Mahoney Monday night, who was fighting back tears and says it’s not only McFarland and Dane County mourning the loss of an officer.
"Not only is he a hometown hero, but he’s a national hero, having been a military officer and deployed on at least two separate occasions before he returned home to serve the citizens of McFarland," Sheriff Mahoney says.
He adds that the healing process began for McFarland officers Monday night; they began working with grieving counselors, peer support deputies from the sheriff’s office and others in the field who have dealt with the loss of a fellow officer.
They are there to assess their grief and see if any other therapy is needed after such a great loss.
"(They’re there) to identify those risk factors of trauma and are capable of getting the resources necessary to those officers that they’re working with to make sure that they’re receiving the healing resources that are available in our community," Mahoney says.
Dane County sheriff’s deputies will be covering for the McFarland Police Department for the next 24 to 48 hours. Dane County is also looking into what caused the crash.