Police chief remembered by fellow lawmen, staff

POLICE, sheriff’s deputies, Texas Rangers, DPS officers and hundreds of family and friends give a final salute to Fredericksburg Police Chief Paul Oestreich. — Standard-Radio Post/Ken Esten Cooke

By Ken Esten Cooke

Fredericksburg laid to rest its police chief of the past 14 years on Monday with a packed house sendoff for the lawman at Fredericksburg United Methodist Church.

Chief Paul Oestreich died Tuesday, May 7 after battling a blood disease — Myelodysplastic Syndrome, formerly known as “pre-leukemia” — for a year and taking chemotherapy treatments since October.

Oestreich was unique among law officers in that he was born and raised in Fredericksburg, having graduated high school here in 1971, and went on to serve his entire career in his hometown. The lawman went from patrolman to deputy chief in 1989, then was named chief a decade later, the position he served until his death.

“He never wanted to be anything but a police officer,” the Rev. Jason Fry told the crowd of more than 600 who filled the church’s sanctuary and fellowship hall where the service was viewed on a closed-circuit television. “But he still made time for his family and always answered telephone calls from his children,” Fry said.

Fry remembered Oestreich who did not want to trouble others with his personal concerns, and health updates throughout his chemotherapy had a positive note, “which was his posture in most things.”

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