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'Nobody should forget' Todd Bahr
Todd Allen Bahr had been a police officer for only two years before he was killed while doing his job last Friday, but he won the respect and friendship of many area law enforcement professionals long before he donned a uniform and badge for the first time.

 Slain police Officer Todd Bahr smiled broadly while offering doughnuts to another officer when he was at the police academy.
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Date published: 6/12/2008

BY EMILY BATTLE

Todd Allen Bahr had been a police officer for only two years before he was killed while doing his job last Friday, but he won the respect and friendship of many area law enforcement professionals long before he donned a uniform and badge for the first time.

Warren Finkelman, deputy chief of police in Seat Pleasant, Md., worked for the Stafford County Sheriff's Office when Bahr owned Damage Incorporated, a Stafford gun shop Bahr named for a song by his favorite band, Metallica.

Finkelman said Bahr's shop became a favorite hangout for local law enforcement officers.

Those and many other officers from around the state and beyond are expected to come to the area today to honor Bahr.

Bahr, 40, was killed Friday night after being shot by a man who police believe was heading to the Cowan Boulevard apartment of his ex-girlfriend to do her harm.

Bahr's funeral will be held today at 11 a.m. at Spotswood Baptist Church on Lafayette Boulevard.

A committal service with full police honors will follow in Sunset Memorial Gardens on U.S. 1.

The more he talked with Bahr, Finkelman said, the more he got the sense that Bahr felt a calling to police work, but feared me might be too old to enter the field.

Finkelman said he and others convinced Bahr that wasn't the case.

Between getting to know Bahr and observing how he interacted with visitors to his shop, Finkelman believed he saw the makings of a great policeman.

"If you can pin down the best qualities of your best police officers, it's somebody who is smart, mature and even-mannered," Finkelman said. "He was all of those things. He would be what I consider to be the ideal applicant."

Bahr gave a lot of himself just to get to the point where he could apply for a full-time job as a police officer.

He sold his shop to Eric Thomas, who took Bahr on as an employee while he spent 10 months in police training as an auxiliary.

Thomas said Bahr probably always had a deep-down draw to police work, but he began pursuing the idea in earnest after riding along with a city police officer in 2005.

On the night Bahr was shot, another officer responding to the scene had a ride-along with him.


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Todd Bahr played a big role in plans to build an indoor shooting range at Combat Solutions in Spotsylvania County. The range is being designed to help train law enforcement officers in the area.

Bahr had been a teacher of gun use and gun safety since before his police days, and Combat Solutions owner Eric Thomas said he had a true gift for instruction.

Thomas said the range will now be named in Bahr's honor. While the details are still preliminary, he said he plans to donate a portion of the proceeds from the facility to the National Law Enforcement Officers' Memorial Fund.

One lane on the range will be designated as Bahr's, and will bear his unit number and a memorial plaque.

Thomas said he plans to give the proceeds from that lane for at least the first year the range is open to Bahr's wife, Stefanie.

"We all basically said we wanted Todd to still be a part of this," Thomas said. "We thought that was the least we could do."

--Emily Battle

Reception for police officers set at UMW after funeral

The Fredericksburg tourism department will host a reception at the University of Mary Washington's Woodard Campus Center today for law enforcement officers and others after today's funeral for Fredericksburg police Officer Todd Bahr.

The reception will begin about noon and last until about 3 p.m. UMW police are expecting 600 to 700 law enforcement officers to attend. Parking for vehicles will be in the parking deck, but some participants may park elsewhere on campus.

The driveway to the Campus Center will be closed from the end of Lot 15 at Willard Hall to the Campus Center from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m.