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Snowmobile ride to honor fallen police officer from Heaton

Snowmobilers will take to frozen fields Saturday in honor of a friend, family member and fallen officer.

Nick Erfle grew up near Heaton, N.D, and graduated from Fessenden High School. He moved to Phoenix and joined the police force there about eight years ago.

Erfke was shot and killed in the line of duty in September 2007. He was 33 years old.

In his memory, friends are organizing a memorial snowmobile ride to raise money for the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.

Erfle's friend and neighbor. Chuck Wiesz, helped organize the snowmobile ride along with the members of the Dakota County Blasters Snowmobile Club in Carrington.

"We just want to do something to memorialize him a little bit," Wiesz said.

Wiesz said he didn't know how much money the ride would raise or how many would participate, but the funds would go to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund in Erfle's name.

The money will go to the maintenance of the memorial in Washington D.C., said Kevin Morison, spokesman for the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, as well as to programs to honor officers who have died.

The memorial has the names of 18,000 fallen officers and about 300 more names will be added in the spring. The new names will include officers who died in the line of duty in 2007 as well as names of fallen officers who have been recovered recently, Morison said.

Wiesz said he also hopes the ride raises awareness.

"Nicki was an excellent friend of mine," Wiesz said.

In addition to being a friend, Erfle was a husband, father of two, a brother and a son. Two of his nine brothers and sisters live in Jamestown.

"It is a very great honor to know how many people that Nicki had touched and that they're doing this in his honor and memory," said his sister, Carol McConnell.

Erfle's sister, Darla Schmitz, said Erfle was the baby of the family and babies have a special role. She said she wants people to remember Erfle as a hero.

"And as a father who loved his family very much. He died doing what he loved," Schmitz said.

Registration for the Officer Nick Erfle Memorial Snowmobile Ride is from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at the Carrington VFW. The ride is scheduled begin thereafter and end by about 5:30 p.m., Wiesz said. Registration is $20 and money raised goes to the National Law Enforcement Officer Memorial Fund. For more information, call 701-307-0005.