Law Enforcement Officers Remember Meeting President Bush


America paused to honor President George Herbert Walker Bush. On Wednesday, U.S. and world leaders, both past and present, attended a state funeral at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. It was an emotional service filled with music and praise for the 41st President. KELOLAND law enforcement officers are also remembering President Bush. When he stopped in Sioux Falls, he spent just a few minutes with two of them. The moments gave both of them decades of gratitude. 

From a collection of police memorabilia to three pristine classic cars, Tom Olsen’s garage is a chest for all of his treasures.

“I can play with my cars and some of my old police buddies…would come over and we can talk out here and tell stories,” Olsen said.

Olsen is a retired police captain for the Sioux Falls Police Department. One of his stories tells the tale of when he met President George H.W. Bush.

It was 2000, and number 41 was campaigning for his son, number 43. Bush senior was boarding on the plane. Olsen and about 15 other officers, who were providing police protection, thought they’d missed their chance to meet him.

“At some point, he turned around and spied us and came all the way back down the stairs, walked over to us, and personally greeted each one of us,” Olsen said.

Olsen knows Bush didn’t have to do that.

“It was pretty impressive he would do that for us,” Olsen said. 

“He was just so cordial and friendly,” Minnehaha County Sheriff Mike Milstead said. 

Milstead acted as extra security on that same trip, and also met Bush senior.

“He was nothing but appreciative. It’s just like, ‘Thank you so much for what you guys are doing to keep us safe. To keep me safe,'” Milstead said. 

Olsen’s chest (aka, his garage) holds a few mementos from a couple of visits, including photos of him with both President Bushes, some presidential pens and a tie clip. However, he says meeting President George H.W. Bush is a treasured memory he keeps with him. 

“It really meant a lot,” Olsen said. 

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