The Coon Rapids Police Department hosted its annual police recognition awards program April 5 at the Harvest Grill.
According to Police Chief Brad Wise, 18 awards of merit plaques were presented to officers for outstanding work during the past year.
• Community Service Office Brandon Teheri was recognized for helping to rescue a 79-year-old resident who was trapped on the second deck at the back of a residence fully engulfed in flames the early evening of Feb. 24, 2012.
“Brandon and some bystanders were able to convince the woman to jump from the deck and they were able to catch her,” Wise said.
“The woman did not have any shoes or socks on so Brandon carried her from the backyard to his squad.”
• Officer Ken Young and Det. Mike Plankers received plaques for pulling a six-year-old autistic child to safety March 12. The child was walking on a pond with no shoes on and was soaking wet after having fallen thin ice previously.
• Officer Brian Sternquist was honored for, with the help of others, dragging a suicidal male off the Egret Boulevard bridge over Highway 10 May 16, 2012 and restraining him. The man had a history of suicide attempts and was armed with a knife.
• Officers Bryan Platz, Kyle Weinberg, Jarrod Guy and Jason Boersma received awards for preventing a suicidal male from jumping off the TH 610 bridge over East River Road Sept. 22, 2012.
According to Wise, the male, who would not let officers approach and threatened to jump, demanded to speak to his father and Weinberg was able to convince him that he could use Weinberg’s phone to make the call.
Platz placed the phone on the ground away from the bridge edge and the man was lured away from the edge to get to it, then with Boersma and Guy distracting him, Platz was able to move between the man and the edge of the bridge, Wise said.
“The male noticed Bryan and tried to run to the edge, but Bryan tased him before he could get there and throw himself over and all the officers converged and subdued him,” he said.
• Det. Interna Kim, Sgt. Rick Boone and Officers Paul Frakie and Terry Thomton were recognized for their roles in the department acquiring U.S. Army surplus M16 rifles free of charge through a U.S. Department of Defense program to replace the department’s aging patrol rifles.
According to Wise, the money the department got from selling the old rifles paid for purchase of parts needed to convert the military rifles for police use.
Kim alerted the department about and researched the Department of Defense program, while Boone planned and procured the M16s, selling the old rifles and Frakie and Thomton spent hours converting the M16s, Wise said.
“This collaborative effort resulted in new, modernized patrol rifles for the department at no taxpayer expense,” he said.
• Officers Dan Freiberg, Adam Jacobson and Briana Johnson were honored for their DWI enforcement efforts, leading the department in arrests in 2012.
“They are each receiving an award of merit in recognition of their work to remove impaired drivers from the roads…” Wise said.
• Officers Bryan Platz and Brian Beedle were recognized for their work in the Special Olympics Torch Run, Tip a Cop and Polar Bear Plunge programs.
“The two have worked together with great commitment to raising money,” Wise said.
This year, the Anoka County Polar Bear Plunge event at Crooked Lake for Special Olympics raised nearly $150,000 with the Coon Rapids Police team, the “Rapid Responders,” contributing almost $6,000.
• Police Reserve Capt. Terry Hoium received a plaque for donating more than 300 hours of volunteer time as commander of the police reserve unit.
The plaques were paid for by the Coon Rapids Crime Prevention Association, a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide financial resources to the Coon Rapids Police Department to prevent and fight crime in Coon Rapids.
All association funds provide support to the department for equipment, special programs and informant payments.
Peter Bodley is at [email protected]