ST. CROIX FALLS – The city of St. Croix Falls honored the late Deputy Michael Seversen on Friday, Aug. 25, at the Overlook Deck downtown. They dedicated the park in his name, offering words of inspiration, stories and humor as they unveiled a dramatic plaque bearing his story and reasons the Overlook is now known as Deputy Michael Seversen Memorial Overlook Park.
“He was a person who put others in front of himself,” stated Mayor Brian Blesi, who served with Seversen on the St. Croix Falls Plan Commission.
Family members, friends and others told of how he had affected their lives and careers, how he served as a police officer in the city, worked at Interstate Park, as a firefighter, elected official and sheriff’s deputy, which he remained for almost two dozen years after a 1991 shooting left him paralyzed.
Seversen’s dedication to service and to people was noted in all his avocations and the ways he served. A variety of people sang his praises and told a few stories of his youth, how he had not only embraced the area, but how he had been embraced by the area, especially after the shooting that ultimately claimed his life in 2014.
“The people of this place invested in Mike,” Seversen’s brother, Mark, said, noting how important it was for his brother to stay in the city he loved. “It was so easy for you to be exactly the kind of people that Mike needed.”
Seversen’s impact in law enforcement was evidenced by the number of officers of all branches in attendance at the dedication.
The event was also a chance for the Polk County Sportsmen’s Club to donate $500 to a scholarship fund created in Seversen’s name.
The crowd also heard a few choice stories about Seversen in his youth, as Iver Kammerud told a story of how Mike and his son were rather mischievous at times, including an incident where Mike had realized that by shining a spotlight on a certain electric eye, he could affect the whole city.
“When he did that, the streetlights would go out downtown,” Kammerud said with a smile. “I’ve always heard the best police officers are people who test the rules!”
But tales about Seversen were also eloquent and inspiring, leaving several people with wet cheeks and broad smiles, as Blesi read the inscription on the large rock beside the Overlook Deck.
“This area is named in perpetuity as Deputy Michael Seversen Memorial Overlook Park,” Blesi said with a sigh as the plaque was revealed by Seversen’s brother and sisters. “We will cherish this park!”