NORTH DAKOTA LINE OF DUTY DEATH~ Deputy Sheriff Bryan Sleeper

On September 28, 2011, a Deputy Sheriff Bryan Sleeper of the Burleigh County Sheriff’s Department died in the line of duty.  The Birmark tribune is reporting that a Burleigh County sheriff’s deputy died early this morning while assisting an officer arresting an impaired driver. Deputy Bryan Sleeper died early Wednesday morning after he collapsed while helping Deputy Jon Eide arrest a man on numerous charges.

Sleeper and Eide were arresting Robbie Del James Roberson, 45, for driving under the influence, resisting arrest and fleeing a police officer shortly after midnight Wednesday. Heinert said Sleeper handcuffed Roberson, then began to feel distress and collapsed. Eide administered first aid and used an automated external defibrillator on Sleeper while maintaining control of Roberson.

Metro Area Ambulance took Sleeper to St. Alexius Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead shortly after 1 a.m., Heinert said.  The sheriff said the incident was described to him as stressful, tense and physical.    Preliminary autopsy results show Deputy Sleeper age 39 died of a heart attack.   

Deputy Sheriff Bryan Sleeper spent 3.5 years with the Burleigh County Sheriffs Department and Sheriff Heinert says being on Patrol is where Deputy Sleeper wanted to be.  Deputy Eide tried to save Sleeper using an IED.  Sheriff Heinert says Deputy Sleeper was the medical trainer for the department training staff on CPR and first aid.

Sleeper was sworn in as a deputy in January 2007. Later that year, he was awarded the North Dakota Peace Officer’s Association’s life saving award, along with several other officers in the department, for saving a man’s life during a suicide attempt. He was on patrol for most of his time with the sheriff’s department, other than a short stint with the training division, and was a member of the West Dakota SWAT team. He also was the sheriff’s department’s medical training officer.

Sleeper had worked as a correctional officer with the North Dakota Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation for more than seven years prior to working at the sheriff’s department and also was an emergency medical technician, Heinert said. When Sleeper requested to become a trainer in the department, administration jumped at the chance.

“It was just natural for us to capitalize on that (experience),” Heinert said. He described Sleeper as a “good deputy” who was excited to be back on patrol after a stint in the training division and thanked the sheriff recently for allowing him to return to patrol.

Deputy Sleeper is survived by his wife Lana, two step sons, a step daughter and a grandson.  Please join with us in sending our condolences to the family and peers of the Deputy Sheriff Bryan Sleeper. 

Rest easy, brother. We’ve got it from here.”

Cards and letters can be sent to:
Burleigh County Sheriff’s Department
Box 1416
Bismarck, ND 58502-1416
Pat Heinert, Sheriff
(701) 222-6651

North & South Dakota have experienced an unprecidented number of line of duty deaths this year.  The Burleigh County Deputy Sheriff is the fifth line of duty death in the last three months!

On July 8, 2011 Sergeant Steven Kenner of the Bismarck Police Department was killed in the line of duty.  Sergeant Kenner was shot and killed while responding to a domestic disturbance involving a man threatening a woman with a knife.  

On August 11, 2011, Firefighter Trampus Haskvitz of the South Dakota Wildland Fire Suppression Division died in the line of duty. Firefighter Haskvitz, a Hot Springs seasonal firefighter, died and two others were injured after being caught in a burn-over while fighting the Coal Canyon Fire near Edgemont on Thursday afternoon.  Trampus Haskvitz, 23, died from injuries he suffered when winds from a storm system pushed the fire into the area he was working, trapping him and two others.

On September 15, 2011, Firefighter Jacob Waldner and Firefighter William Waldner from the Hutterite Sunset Colony of South Dakota have died in the line of duty, and Firefighter Jack Waldner was injured after an explosion in the northwest of community of Britton. 

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2 Responses to “NORTH DAKOTA LINE OF DUTY DEATH~ Deputy Sheriff Bryan Sleeper”

  1. Tiffany McLean says:

    Prayers to my brothers and sisters who wear the Blue and the Red! Such a devastating loss, anytime, but so much for N. and S. Dakota! Prayers for healing from Nebraska!!

  2. Debbi Relyea says:

    My prayers to the family of Deputy Sleeper,may our lord hold you in his arms and comfort you at this time of sorrow.

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