ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. — An officer with the North County Police Cooperative was shot and killed in the line of duty in Wellston Sunday Afternoon. 

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Officer Michael Langsdorf, 40, was shot at the Wellston Food Market, leaving behind two children and a fiancé.

The North County Police Cooperative is a policing alternative that serves six municipalities in north St. Louis County.

The cooperative was started in 2015 when Vinita Terrace and Wellston contracted the Vinita Park Police Department to handle police services in their municipalities in 2015. When they started policing in the new areas, the name was changed to the North County Police Cooperative.

"This is not going to be Vinita Park coming in and taking over. It can't happen that way," then-Police Chief Tim Swope told St. Louis Public Radio. "This is all of us joining together and having some skin in the game."

Since that time, the cooperative has expanded to include Pine Lawn, Beverley Hills and Velda Village Hills.

Each of the municipalities served by the cooperative has its own precinct office and police services for the public. Those precincts report to the mayor and board of the municipality they serve.

In total, the North County Police Cooperative has about 60 police officers and multiple civilian personnel.

According to the North County Police Cooperative's website, officers are encouraged and expected to take part in their many Community Partnership programs.

Tim Swope served and the chief of the North County Police Cooperative until he resigned in 2018 to join St. Louis County Prosecutor Wesley Bell's staff. John Buchannan took over as chief in September of 2018.