Slain Algona officer laid to rest
ALGONA — Algona Police Officer Kevin Cram was laid to rest on Wednesday, a week after he responded to his last call of duty.
Cram, 33, was a 10-year veteran of law enforcement and leaves behind a large family, including his wife and three sons.
The north central Iowa community was able to bid farewell to the fallen officer during a public funeral at the Algona High School gymnasium on Wednesday morning.
Algona Police Chief Bo Miller gave the first of two eulogies for the slain officer.
“Kevin Cram,” Miller started. “When I speak his name, what comes to mind is family, honor, integrity, a hard-working officer.”
Miller spoke about the Cram family’s legacy of public service. A life of service had been instilled in Kevin Cram starting with his father, who worked in emergency medical services. Cram’s brother, Steve, is a police sergeant in Eagle Grove. Cram’s wife, Lara, was previously a police sergeant in Britt.
“Service to communities is just what they do,” Miller said.
As an officer, Miller said the department and community could trust that Cram would respond to any call for service with compassion and professionalism.
“He took so much pride in his work,” Miller said.
And though he spent most of his time in uniform, Cram was more than just a police officer, Miller noted.
“Kevin Cram cared so much for his family,” he said. “He loved bringing his kids fishing, hunting and just doing anything he could do to be outside with them.”
Cram enjoyed working on tractors and farming with his family as well.
“I keep wanting to tell Lara and their family ‘I am sorry, I’m sorry’ over and over again, hoping I can change something,” Miller said. “But what I need to tell them, I’ve realized, I need to tell you ‘Thank you.’ Thank you for raising a man with integrity. And thank you for raising a man of service. And thank you for raising a brother.”
Miller shared stories about Cram’s time at the APD, namely that Cram would often talk about eating “varmints,” though they were never really sure if he was joking. Miller noted that like any other rural community, they’ve received calls from dispatch about a dead animal on the side of the road, and Cram would often volunteer to take care of it.
“I never asked Kevin what ‘I’ll take care of it’ meant,” Miller said.
Miller shared that in the department’s break room, if there’s food with no name on it, it’s considered “fair game” for anyone. And sometimes, even if the food is labeled with the owner’s name, it might go missing anyway.
“Kevin was the police department’s exception,” Miller said. “If you saw Tupperware that had ‘Cram’ on it, you did not eat that. You had no idea if that was some sort of mystery meat, and no officer’s willing to take that risk.”
Miller noted that he’d never actually seen Cram eat what he’d bring in, so he wondered if all the varmint and possum talk was just a ploy to make sure no one swiped his lunch.
“And if that’s the case, well played, Kevin,” Miller said. “Well played.”
Retired Algona Police Chief Kendall Pals, who hired Cram back in 2015, gave the second eulogy.
“Today is not a day to reflect on the sad and unnecessary events of the evening of Sept. 13,” he said. “But today is a day to reflect on the 33-plus years prior to that date. And on tomorrow, next week and beyond.”
Cram was tragically killed on Sept. 13 while attempting to serve an arrest warrant on a subject in Algona.
Pals said that the best way for anyone to honor Cram’s memory is to carry on his life’s mission of service.
“Whether it’s being supportive of someone on their bad day, visiting a lonely neighbor, making time to see someone that’s confined to a nursing home, treating a homeless person with respect or making time and making a child’s day by being their hero,” Pals said.
Pals also called Cram “one of the very best law enforcement officers in this entire area.”
“[He was] somebody that could have worked anywhere, but chose to do it right here, in a place called home,” Pals said.
Cram was born in Mason City and raised in Corwith. After graduating from Corwith-Wesley-LuVerne High School in 2008, Cram joined the Algona Police Reserves. He later attended the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy and joined the Nora Springs Police Department in 2013. He began serving with the Algona Police Department in 2015.
Pastor Lissa Kahl, of Corwith United Methodist Church, read the scripture selected by Cram’s grandmother, Mariann Cram.
Deacon David Penton, of the Divine Mercy Catholic Parish, gave a sermon and shared some of his own personal stories he had of the fallen officer.
“My brothers and sisters, we know that this is no ordinary funeral,” Penton said. “This is a funeral for a brave man, an incredible dad, a man with mad TikTok skills, a smart and respectful officer and so much more.”
Penton shared a story about when Cram met Lara’s son when the couple was first dating.
“The first time he met Archer, Archer told him that his name was Batman, ‘But you can call me Archer,'” Penton said. “I don’t know about you, but you have to be brave to date Batman’s mom.”
After the couple married in July 2018, their little family grew by two more sons, Weston and Ira.
Penton shared memories of Cram and his three boys over the years, including memories of Cram sitting in his squad car, in uniform, reading a bedtime story to his boys.
“He never turned the dad off,” Penton said. “He never turned the husband off. What an incredible man.”