Congressman presents fallen officer’s wife with statement made on House floor

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Winum widow

~ PVN staff report

STANLEY — Just five days after the fatal Feb. 26 shooting of Stanley Police Officer Dominic “Nick” Winum, 6th District Congressman Ben Cline (R-Rockbridge) stood on the floor of the House of Representatives and told his fellow lawmakers of the tragedy.

“Madam Speaker, I rise today to honor the life of Stanley Police Officer Nick Winum, who was tragically killed in the line of duty this weekend…For the last 15 years of his life, he put the well-being of his neighbors above his own, and our community is forever grateful for the sacrifice he made while keeping our streets safe,” reads the statement, as it appears in Vol. 167, No. 40 of the Congressional Record.

“He is remembered as a man of honor and principle who loved the Lord, his family, and his country,” Cline said of Winum. “To honor this patriot, those who knew him will continue to carry on his legacy of kindness, compassion, and service to others.”

During a visit to Page County last week, Cline met Winum’s widow, Kara, at the Stanley Police Department to present her with a framed copy of the speech published in the Congressional Record.

“Words cannot express how sorry I am,” Cline told Kara, as Police Chief Ryan “Beaver” Dean and Mayor Mike Knight looked on. “On behalf of Congress and this country, I am so grateful for his service.”

Cline told Kara that the speech “really resonated on the floor” and a number of his peers in the House were moved by Officer Winum’s story, stating, “It stopped everybody in their tracks.”

Officer Winum, 48, was shot multiple times after a traffic stop on Judy Lane about 3:15 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 26, according to a state police report. The shooter, Dakota G. Richards, 29, fled the scene, but later shot by law enforcement along Marksville Road.

According to the state police report, “Winum observed a 2002 Honda Civic that matched the description of a Be On the Lookout [BOL] issued for a suspicious person with a gun…Before the officer could exit his patrol vehicle, the driver…got out of his vehicle and began shooting at Officer Winum’s vehicle.”

A handgun was recovered from Richards’ vehicle and a Smith & Wesson M&P-15 rifle was recovered in his possession after his fatal shooting.

“I know how important law enforcement is to this community, and it was inspiring to see how this community rallied around you and your family,” Cline told Kara, as the two talked about the family’s roots in New York. “You will find, in this part of Virginia, the community backs the blue. As a nation, we need to stand up and appreciate our men and women in law enforcement.”

FULL TEXT OF REP. CLINE’S STATEMENT

Congressional Record — proceedings and debates of the 117th Congress, First Session – Vol 167, No. 40 — Washington, Wednesday, March 3, 2021 – House of Representatives — Honoring Fallen Stanley Police Officer Nick Winum, Honorable Ben Cline of Virginia, in the House of Representatives

Madam Speaker, I rise today to honor the life of Stanley Police Officer Nick Winum, who was tragically killed in the line of duty this weekend.

Originally a successful tomato farmer on the Eastern Shore, Officer Winum followed his calling to serve others and joined the Virginia State Police.

After working for more than a decade as a State Trooper, Officer Winum transitioned into the Stanley Police Department in 2016, where he served until his passing.

For the last fifteen years of his life, he put the well-being of his neighbors above his own, and our community is forever grateful for the sacrifice he made while keeping our streets safe.

Officer Winum is survived by the love of his life Kara, his children Jedediah, Aubrey, Jason and Nikki, his granddaughter Willa, as well as his parents, siblings, and 24 nieces and nephews.

He is remembered as a man of honor and principle who loved the Lord, his family, and his country.

To honor this patriot, those who knew him will continue to carry on his legacy of kindness, compassion, and service to others.

I join his law enforcement colleagues in mourning his passing and extend my deepest condolences to his family.

Madam Speaker, I yield back.

•••

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