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#ThankACop: State Trooper & Crash Reconstruction Specialist Karla Bearce

Today, I want you to meet Karla Bearce. Since she was in middle school, Karla has known exactly how she wanted to serve her community and help save lives. And a personal experience has only strengthened that commitment.

In 7th grade civics class, Karla Bearce knew she wanted to work in law enforcement when her local police chief came and spoke to her class. The chief shared that his job was different each and every day, and from that moment on, Karla knew what she wanted to do.

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#ThankACop: Drug Take Back Day

As October comes to an end, I wanted to highlight some important work that happened across the state of Minnesota on Saturday.

Each year, the federal Drug Enforcement Administration hosts two days designated to collecting unused prescription drugs. Addiction and drug abuse are serious issues many Minnesota families face, and I am grateful to various law enforcement agencies for working to prevent this problem. As many families have faced challenges related to COVID-19 and the resulting economic shutdowns, those struggling with addiction and drug abuse have found new challenges due to disrupted routines and new stressors. Law enforcement’s work is appreciated more this year than ever.

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#ThankACop: Benton County Sheriff’s Office: K-9 Handler Deputy Brad Kadlec

Today I’m sharing with you one part of the phenomenal work the Benton County Sheriff’s Office is doing to keep our community safe. As I have often said, police work is unpredictable and therefore dangerous, and we remain grateful to all the officers like Deputy Kadlec who put their lives on the line for us every day.

Last week, the St. Cloud Times shared a story about Deputy Brad Kadlec and the K-9 he currently handles, Ragnar. However, Deputy Kadlec has been with the Benton County Sheriff’s Department for eleven years, and he has worked with many K-9s to keep the communities in Benton safe.

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#ThankACop: Anoka Police Department

Though they never know what might come their way, law enforcement officers risk their lives everyday to protect us. A situation that developed in the suburbs of Anoka, Ramsey, and Nowthen on the night of October 8 proved to be an example of the unexpected and dangerous nature of an officer’s career in public service.

Early on the morning of October 8, Anoka officers received a call and were sent to investigate a report of a vehicle theft in downtown Anoka. An employee called the police because he noticed that a vehicle was missing even though they still had the keys, and another employee saw that the security camera was missing an hour of footage. A few hours later, Anoka officers received another call from an observer who thought he saw people trying to steal a car. Officers responded to this complaint, saw the car, and noticed it was the same one reported stolen only hours before.

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#ThankACop: Ramsey County Sheriff’s Department Commander Suwana Kirkland

This week, I want to introduce you to an officer who, over the course of her career, has worked to build bridges within her community and make a real difference with her badge. Especially in today’s climate, her work is greatly appreciated!

Commander Suwana Kirkland, a mother to five children ages 9 through 27 and resident of Rogers, came to the law enforcement profession later in life. After working in real estate in her early 20s, she attended Minneapolis Community and Technical College and earned a degree in psychology. Following her work at Hennepin County Medical Center, she took her passion for and interest in criminal justice and started off her law enforcement career as a trailblazer in 2005 when she became the first African American officer to serve in the Minnetonka Police Department.

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