Superior Police Department
On April 29, 1990, Officer Rick Klugow and three other officers were dispatched to a call in central Superior. They were told a man was walking around claiming to be “cop hunting.” Officer Klugow spotted the suspect and called for Sergeant Tom Champaigne. Having seen the suspect wielding a knife, it was decided that they would enter the home the suspect had gone into and arrest him.
The officers knocked on the suspect’s door. Suddenly the door burst open and the suspect was facing them holding a butcher’s knife. Efforts to get the suspect to surrender the weapon failed and the man charged the officers. During the struggle, officers Champaigne and Klugow were both stabbed several times. The man was eventually subdued by the five police officers and arrested. The butcher’s knife was left imbedded in Officer Champaigne’s leg. During the struggle, the officers fought for their lives. While there were five officers involved, two were forced to accept severe and painful injuries so that the others would not, and most likely saved lives, including the life of the suspect.
The suspect was arrested, but the damage had been done. The injury ultimately ended the career of one of the finest community conscious officers the City of Superior has ever known. Sergeant Champaigne left a legacy to generations of children through his work in the Police Liaison Bureau.
Officer Klugow’s physical injuries mended well enough to be able to return to work. He has since been appointed to a number of special duties, including detective, ballistics officer, and eventually Sergeant. Those who know Rick know him as someone who never quits, and welcomes a challenge with tremendous desire.
In the words of one fellow officer, “Rick never found any hill too tall to climb … it didn’t surprise me at all that he came back and accomplished even more after the setback.”