Hero Down: Elm Grove PD Sgt. Joseph 'Joe' Ipavec Found Dead Suicide At Station

Holly Matkin

Elm Grove Police Department Sergeant Joseph Ipavec served his department for nearly two decades.

Elm Grove, WI – Elm Grove Police Department (EGPD) Sergeant Joseph “Joe” Ipavec took his own life at the police station early Monday morning, according to his department.

“We are heartbroken at the loss of our dedicated co-worker and friend,” the EGPD said in a Facebook post on Tuesday afternoon.

Sgt. Ipavec, a 19-year veteran-of-the-force, was a leader both within the department and in his community.

The 43-year-old sergeant served as a firearms instructor, mentored new officers as a field training officer, and was also the department liaison for the Citizen Police Academy.

Sgt. Ipavec graduated from the Northwestern University’s Police Staff and Command in 2014, and was also a licensed emergency medical technician, according to his department.

“He was an officer of exceptional performance and was, most notably, commended for his actions that, without question, saved many lives, during the Villager Apartments fire, in October of 2000,” the EGPD noted.

“All members of the Elm Grove Police Department and dispatch staff thank the members of the Elm Grove community for their patience and understanding while we adjust to this tragic loss,” the department’s post read.

“We are additionally thankful for the outpouring of support from our fellow law enforcement communities that responded at a moment’s notice to assist our officers, during this critical incident, and to help us over the long term, pursue a path of wellbeing,” the EGPD said. “His family and two young children are in our thoughts and prayers.”

Attorney General Josh Kaul said that Sgt. Ipavec’s death was a “profound loss” for the community, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.

“The Department of Justice and the Wisconsin law enforcement community mourn with the police department and family and friends of this officer," Kaul said.

“We send our most sincere condolences to his family at this difficult time," Elm Grove Police Chief James Gage told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on Monday. "Our department and our community are grieving."

Sgt. Ipavec will be laid to rest on Saturday, according to his obituary.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Elm Grove Police Department Sergeant Joseph “Joe” Ipavec, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.

Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.

Comments (8)
No. 1-5

Life in today’s America is a challenge for all decent Americans with character, morals and respect for others and the rule of law. For our LEO’s, that challenge is exponentially heightened as they so often see the worst of today’s “new world” and the gut-wrenching evil that exists within it. Only Sgt. Ipavec knew what he faced that ultimately caused him to take his own life but, like with other recent police suicides, we can surmise the horrendous pressure and hurtful stress it placed on him. Today we mourn the loss of another of the “good guys” .... may he rest in peace and may his death not be in vain. We must restore the culture in America and restore respect in, and the dignity of, ALL good Americans, beginning with and especially those who do the work that most of us could never do. God bless Sgt. Ipavec and God bless the blue.


Another Brother crushed by the weight of the badge.


No words to describe the level of sadness & regret at the news of the suicide deaths of two fine officers who gave so much to their communities, & clearly were loved & respected by their police family as well as their own. Prayers continuing for both families, & for Sgt. Ipavec's young family, fellow officers, & friends. How do we take some of the weight off our LEOs' hearts & minds?? Family & friends are here--how do we get our loved ones to understand that we WANT to be there for them because we love & cherish them beyond what words can express???


My prayers and sympathy to his family and friends. Rest In Peace.


I can't even begin to imagine what he has seen to do this. There are no word's. I don't understand. May he now rest in peace. Prayer's for both Family's Blood and Blue.

Fallen Heroes