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#ThankACop: Sherburne & Anoka Co. Sheriff’s Departments

Over the weekend, a dangerous situation unfolded in St. Francis. It began with officers being fired upon and ended with the suspect being apprehended without any major injuries to him or officers. Had these sheriff’s deputies done their jobs differently, they may have not still been with us today.

On Saturday, November 14, a St. Francis police officer attempted to stop a vehicle after the driver committed a traffic violation. However, instead of surrendering himself, the suspect began to flee out of Anoka county while firing a gun repeatedly at the St. Francis officer in pursuit.

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#ThankACop: Duluth Police Officer Sara Schutte

As we continue to weather the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, I wanted to introduce you to an officer who has done everything in her power to continue serving her community despite the changes we’ve seen over this past year.

Officer Sara Schutte graduated from the University of Minnesota in Duluth in 2014 with degrees in Biology and Natural History. While she loved her science career, she missed engaging with the community. After much thought, she chose to return to school and become a police officer. She joined the Duluth Police Department in 2018 and hasn’t looked back.

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#ThankACop: Brooklyn Park Police Department

The Brooklyn Park Police Department safely and professionally handled a dangerous incident a few weeks ago. These situations are risky for both officers and suspects, but in this case, no one was injured. Unfortunately, situations like this  do sometimes end with officers, suspects, or bystanders being injured or killed, so stories like this make us all grateful for the officers who wake up each and every day to handle whatever comes their way.

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#ThankACop: Lakeville Police Officer Casey King

I am always grateful to hear about our Minnesota communities going above and beyond to recognize the brave men and women who serve in law enforcement. A few weeks ago, Lakeville Police Officer Casey King was recognized by the Lakeville Public Safety Foundation for all he has done to serve his community.

Prior to 2020, the Lakeville Public Safety Foundation annually held a large fundraising event on the anniversary of 9/11. This September, however, with many families being under the economic stress of COVID-19 and social distancing protocols, the Foundation and its president, Shanen Corlett, decided to still recognize one officer and one firefighter but instead deliver appreciation baskets to each firefighter, police officer, and administrative staff member in Lakeville.

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#ThankACop: Waite Park Police Department

I think we all appreciate now more than ever efforts by police departments to increase transparency, communication, and representation with the communities they serve. Relationships are key in law enforcement work, and I applaud the departments and officers who continue to strive to build these relationships with every member of their communities.

Last week, the Waite Park Police Department announced that it had applied for and received a grant from the state of Minnesota for its Pathways to Policing program. Pathways to Policing strives to recruit candidates who are interested in law enforcement as a profession but are currently working in another field. This grant gives Waite Park Police Chief Dave Bentrud the opportunity to hire additional officers who will have both the passion and the ability to become an officer and then start building these relationships even if they are from different professional backgrounds.

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