A Rush City man who left a 10-year law enforcement career in the state to work in Iraq for a security contractor has died from injuries he suffered when his military convoy was attacked, his employer said.
William Lawrence Juneau, 36, died Monday at the 86th Combat Support Hospital after his convoy was hit the same day by an improvised explosive device about 50 miles outside Baghdad, according to DynCorp International of Falls Church, Va.
Before joining DynCorp in June 2006 to help train Iraqi police officers, Juneau worked four years as a sheriff's deputy for Chisago County, located northeast of the Twin Cities. Juneau previously worked for the St. James Police Department and then as a deputy and investigator for the Pine County Sheriff's Department.
"He started out as a road deputy, but with his work ethic and everything he was promoted to investigator," said Steve Ovick, chief deputy for the Pine County Sheriff's Department.
Ovick said he followed Juneau's career and last saw him at a local fire department picnic, proudly riding his motorcycle. Juneau also enjoyed hunting with his father in northern Minnesota, Ovick said.
"Bill liked to move around. I think he looked at this as an opportunity to serve his country and train Iraqi police officers," Ovick said.
DynCorp said Juneau was assigned to the Civilian Police Advisory Training Team, a part of the U.S.-led effort to train and equip the 135,000-member Iraqi police service. DynCorp has a contract with the State Department to prepare and support 700 trainers for the effort.
"He was performing a vital service for our country and for the Iraqi people under very difficult circumstances, and we remain honored to have had him serve with us," said Herbert J. Lanese, DynCorp's president and chief executive officer.
Ovick, whose son served three tours in Iraq, said he kept Juneau in his thoughts when his former colleague stared work with DynCorp.
"You always have that in the back of your mind," Ovick said of Juneau's death. "The law enforcement family is pretty tight, and when you lose one of your own, it's a sad day."
(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)