Police Force, Elmwood Community Mourn Kaszynski

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A man who left fighting crime on the streets of St. Paul to help fight it on the streets of Iraq died Thursday after being the victim of a roadside bomb.

Thirty-nine year-old Kyle Kaszynski, who lived with his wife and daughter in Elmwood had taken a leave of absence in October from the department to work for Kroll Incorporated, a private contract firm. One other person was killed and three seriously injured in the same convoy, which was escorting a correctional advisor from Baghdad to Baquba for prison inspections.

Thursday night, two of Kaszynski's fellow officers traveled to Elmwood to speak with his wife, Kristin, about his death. Despite the commute to St. Paul, the couple had moved to the small Pierce county town a few years ago, believing it to be a good place to raise their children, and have horses.

Former partner Officer Mark Lundquist shared Kaszynski's wife's words about her husband's death. "She just wants (people) to know how good of a father he was, how much he loved his daughter and her and she's going to miss him more than anything," says Officer Lundquist.

St. Paul's police chief John Harrington has authorized the department to wear black mourning bands across their badges to honor the seven-year veteran of the force.

Kaszynski was working for Kroll Incorporated, a private security consulting firm, hired to help establish police functions in Iraq.

Officer Lundquist says his partner volunteered for the job with the intent of using his experience to make a difference and to make some extra money for his family.