Every day, law enforcement officers put their lives on the line to serve and protect our communities. And while National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day is recognized once a year, the brave men and women who step up at every hour of every day deserve more gratitude and recognition.

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From Tom: Why #ThankACop?

Friends –

Every day, law enforcement officers put their lives on the line to serve and protect our communities. And while National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day is recognized once a year, the brave men and women who step up at every hour of every day deserve more gratitude and recognition.

That’s why our team is launching our #ThankACop initiative this week. With morale at an all time low amongst the law enforcement community, our goal is to highlight individual law enforcement officers and the important work that they and their agencies do for our communities. These men and women have sworn to protect the lives of others – sometimes at the expense of their own – and they deserve nothing but our support. Without them, our communities would not be the places we call home today.

On Friday, I caught my staff a little off guard by telling them to order some pizzas because we were going to #ThankACop and deliver them to law enforcement on Saturday. On this first trip we made it to Buffalo, Andover, and Blaine. It is always an honor to listen to officers’ first-hand experiences and discuss the issues that matter most to them and their communities.

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Otsego, MN – Today, Sixth District Congressman Tom Emmer is beginning his #ThankACop initiative. In the wake of increased scrutiny of law enforcement following the death of George Floyd, law enforcement officers in Minnesota are facing low morale and increased recruitment difficulties.

“The goal here is simple: while the public debates issues of police reform, we all need to take a step back and realize what our peace officers do for all of us and our communities every single day. While many are out on the streets putting their lives on the line for us, others are organizing prescription drug take back programs, doing community outreach, fighting sex trafficking rings, and generally making our streets safer for our kids to play on. Now more than ever, we need to reach out and simply show gratitude because without them, our communities would not be the places we call home,” Emmer said.

“Everyone knows a law enforcement officer, and they come from all different backgrounds and beliefs. We just want to encourage people to recognize law enforcement officers for all that they do.”

The #ThankACop campaign will highlight individual officers from Minnesota on a weekly basis as well as bring attention to the work that peace officers do to keep those they have sworn to protect and serve out of harm’s way.

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Latest #ThankACop Posts

Wyoming Police Department

With the COVID-19 pandemic, police officers have had fewer opportunities to connect with the communities they serve face-to-face. However, Wyoming Police Chief Paul Hoppe has been working to ensure that his department is able to maintain their bond with the public even though the number of in-person interactions has sharply decreased. Chief Hoppe also said that following George Floyd’s unjust death, he was inspired to build trust with the public and make sure that the community knows the person behind the badge and the uniform.

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Officer Charles Adams, Minneapolis PD

Officer Charles Adams was born and raised in North Minneapolis, just north of West Broadway, 22nd, and Irving Avenue. In high school, he followed in his dad and uncles’ footsteps by playing football for the Minneapolis North Polars. However, education was always important to the Adams family, and when his grades suffered junior year, his dad kept him out for the season.

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Emmer Releases Radio Ad Recognizing MN Law Enforcement

Congressman Tom Emmer (MN-06) released a radio ad to help recognize Minnesota’s peace officers and the risks they take everyday to keep communities throughout Minnesota safe. The ad will run across the state for the next week and asks Minnesotans to visit ThankMinnesotaPolice.com and leave a message of gratitude or encouragement for their local officers.

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Waite Park Police Chief Dave Bentrud

Waite Park, Minnesota Police Chief Dave Bentrud began his life in Glenwood, a small town in west-central Minnesota. Having lost his father when he was nine and his mother when he was 16, he knew at an early age that he wanted to do something to help people, particularly helping kids deal with adversity. Chief Bentrud’s journey took him to St. Paul, Minnesota, where he earned his criminal justice degree at the University of St. Thomas.

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St. Paul Police Department

We know that for law enforcement officers, building relationships with people in the communities they serve is crucial to the success of not only each and every officer but the whole department. This Friday, we’re sharing a story with you about St Paul Police Officers doing exactly that.

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Blaine Police Department K-9 Rex

Over the past four weeks, we have recognized officers, police chiefs, and a 911 dispatcher. But K-9 units are also an important part of the work police departments do to keep their communities safe, which is why we’re recognizing a member of Blaine’s K-9 unit this week, Rex!

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Eagan Police Department

Today, I wanted to share the most heartwarming story I’ve seen to date. Last month, Eagan Police Officers received a report about a 12 year old boy who had all $137 of his lemonade stand earnings stolen when he lost his wallet. Even though his wallet was eventually returned to him, it was completely empty. The officers said that his story stood out to them because he had worked exceptionally hard to earn that money and because of the theft, all of his work was about to go unrewarded

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911 Dispatcher Marty O’Hehir

On April 16, 2020 at 12:30 PM, State Patrol Operator Marty O’Hehir received a 911 call at the Regional Traffic Management Center in Roseville from a man in his mid-30s who was driving around the Twin Cities. Traveling on I-94 at 100 mph, this man told O’Hehir he was determined to kill himself by either driving off the road into a ditch or up to Duluth and into a lake.

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Lakes Area Police Department

This Thursday, my team and I are continuing our #ThankACop initiative by sharing another story about the important work our peace officers do to protect us and our families 24/7, 365 days a year.

Last Friday, a 14-year-old boy fell down into a 50-foot chimney at Chisago Lakes Middle School shortly after midnight.

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Officer Arik Matson

On January 6, 2020, Officer Arik Matson (Age 32) and two other Waseca police officers responded to a call about a suspicious person. The officers did not know on that cold and snowy night that the suspect had an active warrant for arrest relating to drug charges. They also did not know that he had previously been convicted on felony burglary, additional drug charges, and accessory to murder. And, worst of all, they did not know that he was in illegal possession of a weapon.

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Rochester Police Department

Hope Fuse is a non-profit organization in Rochester, MN that helps connect young children with mentors, and they recently sponsored a day of fishing for children in their community and local Rochester Police Officers!

As Hope Fuse’s founder Manasseh Kambaki explained, the program was meant to help break down stereotypes and allow an opportunity for children to interact with local law enforcement officers: “We want to make sure that the kids understand that not all police officers may be what we see in the TV or the news, but there are good people out there. At the end of the day, police officers, myself and people in different career fields are humans. So the goal behind us partnering and collaborating together so that the youth can build that trust within our law enforcement.”

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Chief Jim Coan

At the end of July, Centennial Lakes Police Chief James “Jim” Coan retired after serving the communities of Circle Pines, Centerville, and Lexington for 9 years. Chief Coan’s retirement marked, in total, 42 years of service as a law enforcement officer.

Chief Coan grew up in Escanaba, Michigan. His father was a police officer, and both he and his brother followed in their dad’s footsteps. After attending Michigan State University, Chief Coan earned a Master’s Degree in criminal Justice.

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Elk River Police Department

On Wednesday, my team and I launched #ThankACop to support and recognize our law enforcement officers for all they do for our communities each and every day. 

In addition to highlighting individual officers weekly as they protect their communities like we did yesterday, we will be sharing stories of the important work and service that law enforcement officers contribute to our state. 

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Officer Jason Falconer

Yesterday, my team and I launched our #ThankACop initiative to support and recognize law enforcement officers for the work they do to help our communities.

As part of this campaign, we will be highlighting individual officers each week and the important work they do to protect and serve Minnesotans. First up is Officer Jason Falconer, an American hero from my home district (MN-06).

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