Elk River Police Captain Bob Kluntz recently celebrated serving 30 years with the Elk River Police Department. As Police Chief Ron Nierenhausen pointed out, serving as an officer for 30 years is rare, and serving with the same department for those 30 years is even rarer.
I wanted to introduce you to Hennepin County Sheriff’s Deputy Sheri Bukkila today. Sheri has been involved with her community of Andover on many levels over the past two decades, and as its recently elected mayor, I am confident that she will continue to serve Andover going forward.
This year, the St. Paul Police Department celebrated the 20th Anniversary of its Shop with Cops program. This event is special because it gives officers the opportunity to build relationships with local kids and their families. St. Paul Police Chief Todd Axtell shared that “Officers are often called to help kids who are experiencing the worst moments of their lives. Shop with Cops gives them a chance to help kids in need without having to fix an immediate crisis. It also gives kids a chance to get to know the officer behind the badge. It’s a special event that’s as rewarding for our officers as it is for the kids.”
Two years ago today, Officer Nick Bogart and Sergeant Jeremy Welsh delivered baby Lincoln Erickson at his parents’ home in Sauk Rapids. His mom Paige’s due date was not until after New Year’s, but she went into the hospital on December 22 with contractions. However, labor did not progress and she was sent home. After they dropped their daughter Isabella off at her grandparents’ house and returned home, Paige knew that baby Lincoln was on his way – and fast.
Recently, St. Francis Police officers and the Anoka County Sheriff’s Department professionally handled a dangerous situation. When routine traffic stops like this escalate to something life threatening – in this case, a suspect opening fire on police officers – I am especially grateful that these brave men and women wake up every day willing to risk their lives to keep us safe even though they know that they might not return home to their families.