Over the weekend, Sergeant Kyle Puelston was working a MN Toward Zero Deaths traffic shift. MN Toward Zero Deaths is an interdisciplinary organization that “saves lives by bringing together Education, Enforcement, Emergency Medical and Trauma Services, Engineering – and more!” By coordinating with the Department of Transportation, the Department of Health, and the Department of Public Safety, MN Toward Zero Deaths facilitates regional efforts throughout the state by looking at “crash data specifics to their areas, then working with the constituents to implement proven circumstances.”
While the stories I email out on Thursdays are often heartwarming, this one is a somber reminder that our safety comes at a cost to the brave men and women who step up to protect us and our families.
Very early Sunday morning, a 30-year-old officer from the Albert Lea Police Department and two civilians were shot. Fortunately, the officer (whose name is still being withheld) has been released from the hospital and is expected to make a full recovery. Though both the civilians suffered more serious injuries, they are recovering as well.
Over the weekend, the communities surrounding Cold Spring and St. Joseph came together to remember and honor two officers who were killed in the line of duty: Cold Spring Police Officer Tom Decker and St. Joseph Police Officer Brian Klinefelter. Our hearts go out to their families and friends, and words cannot convey our gratitude for their willingness to sacrifice everything to protect their communities.
Because officers wake up each day not knowing if they will return home to their families, I believe that it is important to recognize the brave men and women who are willing to put their lives on the line. In November, the Blaine Police Department hired three new officers, and I wanted to help welcome them by introducing them and thanking them for all they have done and will do to make Blaine a safer place.
Though all the stories we share about law enforcement highlight their important work, this one is especially heartwarming and a true tribute to the dedication that officers have for their communities. A few weeks ago, 11 year old Caleb Rogers of Crystal, Minnesota received an early holiday surprise from some state troopers.
Since being diagnosed with brain cancer, 11-year-old Caleb has fought through more than 30 rounds of chemotherapy and radiation. A few weeks ago, state troopers partnered with Wishes and More, a non profit dedicated to granting wishes to children with terminal or life-threatening illnesses. Caleb received a gaming laptop and several other gifts and accessories complete with a police escort at the surprise wish reveal at his home in Crystal.
Since seeing an increase in crime and deaths due to traffic incidents, the Minnesota State Patrol has been working to hire more troopers and patrol officers. They have also been making an effort to interview and train diverse candidates to better serve Minnesotans. This week’s officer highlight took advantage of the LETO (Law Enforcement Training Opportunity) program to continue his career of service as a State Trooper.