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.
This Christmas, a little girl in Chisago County named Poppy Lindeman will celebrate her third birthday thanks to a 911 dispatcher who helped her parents safely deliver her on the side of the road on Christmas morning. Aside from this Christmas miracle, there are so many unseen ways that dispatchers and law enforcement staff work to protect and serve our communities.
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.”