‘We Have The Watch From Here’: Sgt. Nevada Krinkee Remembered As Protector, Father And Hero (2024)

As a young police sergeant walked his wife and baby out of their Sheridan church one Sunday night in February, the pastor thought to himself, “Now there’s a man who’s leading his family, who’s doing it right.”

Two days later on Feb. 13, Sheridan Police Sgt. Nevada Krinkee was shot to death — the first Wyoming law enforcement agent to die by homicide in the line of duty since 1997, and the first line-of-duty death in the history of the Sheridan Police Department.

His pastor, Adam Weatherby of Sheridan Bible Church, reflected on that last sighting while speaking Friday at Krinkee’s memorial service at the Bruce Hoffman Golden Dome at Sheridan College.

“Like most of you, we didn’t know that may be the last time we saw him on this earth,” said Weatherby. “We didn’t think we’d be here today.”

Weatherby was one of many to memorialize Krinkee at the well-attended service, where about 1,800 people flooded into the arena.

Dozens of police vehicles from around Wyoming and other states led the memorial procession before the service, leading a white hearse on a fine, spring-weather day. The breeze picked up as the procession arrived at the dome.

Gov. Mark Gordon paid his respects to Krinkee’s family. A color guard posted flags and saluted. A sea of police uniforms surged into bleachers and chairs, around a platform splashed with law-enforcement blue flowers and massive bouquets.

Uniformed pall bearers bore Krinkee’s flag-draped casket into the dome just before the service.

The slain sergeant’s family entered after the color guard and took their seats just beyond his casket.

‘Grieve Well, Rejoice Well’

Many eulogies and speeches shared a common theme: That Krinkee had a servant’s heart and a growing, sincere Christian faith.

Sheridan Police Department Lt. Danny Keller, another leader at Krinkee’s church, delivered the sermon and eulogy.

“Our attempt today is to do two things and to do them well, though they seem quite opposite,” said Keller. “Grieve well and rejoice well.”

He quoted from the Book of John, in which Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life, whoever believes in me, though he die, yet he shall live.”

Krinkee believed that “ultimate statement of hope,” said Keller.

Keller’s sermon focused on the Christian ideal that self-sacrifice is the ultimate showing of love, and said Krinkee lived out that ideal, not just with his death but each day he lived.

Keller also said that Krinkee identified with the more warrior-like aspects the Bible demonstrates of Jesus — a conqueror of the devil, a vanquisher of evil.

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Crumbling

Krinkee’s wife Karla had Keller read her written tribute aloud.

She still finds herself expecting his call; expecting to see him when she wakes; expecting him to make their months-old baby Bella laugh, the tribute said.

“I still want to hold his hand and laugh at his jokes,” she wrote. “It feels like the world’s crumbling.”

Yet, she continued, she feels lucky for the time they shared.

“I was blessed to have traveled across oceans with him, I was able to build a home with him – to have created this beautiful child with him,” Karla’s tribute said.

Like so many others, she described her husband as a born protector who sacrificed himself for others and never demanded things in return.

So Dogged

Krinkee’s mother shared a simple memory of Krinkee coming home from an Army tour in Afghanistan, and surprising his sister while she competed in a rodeo on her birthday.

His siblings and friends called him a bold and thoughtful leader, a man who had others’ backs.

Speakers said Krinkee’s wife Karla has a close relationship with her sister, Donna Bass, who spoke of Krinkee like a true brother.

Donna’s husband, Aaron Bass, did so as well, painting an idyllic verbal picture of Krinkee’s protective nature.

Krinkee would goof around with his friends and family. He was competitive and loved board games, video games, inside jokes and get-togethers, said Aaron Bass via a tribute a pastor read onstage.

“It was his love and this type of pure, innocent love that led him to be so dogged in his protection of it,” said Bass’ tribute. “He wanted to protect this inner sanctuary where children and dogs could laugh and play without any fear.”

The tribute concluded with Bass saying all he can do going forward is protect that same innocent joy Krinkee so valued, by supporting his own peers in law enforcement, by defending innocent people, and by remembering to cling to those same simple joys while he can.

Krinkee’s father-in-law James Rogers said he didn’t have to worry about his daughter – though fathers worry constantly.

“I saw you there doing whatever was needed. And I saw my daughter so happy. My worries just faded away,” said Rogers via a written tribute read onstage.

Rogers vowed to protect Krinkee’s daughter Bella, “as you did mine.”

‘With Fierce Love And Enthusiasm’

Krinkee would have been 34 in October.

He was killed Feb. 13 while trying to serve a trespass notice at a rental home. The suspect fled to a nearby home and sparked a two-day police standoff, after which the suspect attempted an armed escape and was shot by police.

A memorial pamphlet available at Krinkee’s funeral says he was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico, but grew up in Bozeman, Montana. He graduated Bozeman High School in 2009 after playing on the school’s varsity soccer team.

As soon as he graduated, he enlisted in the U.S. Army, serving for eight years that included two tours in Afghanistan with the 82nd Airborne division, as a parachutist.

He rose to the rank of staff sergeant and was awarded four Army Commendation Medals and a National Defense Service Medal, the memorial says.

He joined the Sheridan Police Department in 2017 and “developed a passion for his work,” says the biography. He became a corporal in 2019 and a sergeant in 2022, and was a firearms instructor and field training officer.

He loved visiting Sheridan public school students and mentoring young men who sought to go into the military, the memorial says.

In 2018, he started dating Karla, whom he married in 2021.

“She was the love of his life and inspired him to be his best self and an exemplary officer,” the memorial says.

It says their daughter was born in the summer of 2023, and Krinkee “fell into fatherhood so easily, with fierce love and enthusiasm.”

He leaves behind his wife Karla and their baby, and is survived by his parents and numerous siblings, as well as other relatives. The memorial says he’s also loved and missed by his figurative “brothers and sisters” in law enforcement and at the Sheridan Bible Church, and by his beloved dogs.

'We Have The Watch From Here'

The funeral concluded with Stephen Piker playing keyboard and singing the popular Phil Wickham hymn “Battle Belongs;” with two prayers by Weatherby and co-pastor Chris Schuett, and with a 21-gun salute.

Lastly, a speaker in the stadium broadcast the somber voice of a dispatcher calling repeatedly for Krinkee to respond to one final call.

Silence intervened between the three calls for Krinkee.

“Sgt. Nevada Krinkee, 10-42, we have the watch from here,” the dispatcher concluded.

The code 10-42 refers to the end of duty.

The pall bearers lowered their salutes and bore the casket out of the dome to a private graveside service.

In that moment, Karla Krinkee turned to a family member who’d been holding her baby. Karla reached out and grabbed baby Bella to herself, and held her tightly.

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Clair McFarland can be reached at clair@cowboystatedaily.com and Pat Maio can be reached at pat@cowboystatedaily.com.

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‘We Have The Watch From Here’: Sgt. Nevada Krinkee Remembered As Protector, Father And Hero (2024)
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