The Anoka Police Department held its annual awards ceremony April 18.
Annually members of the department are honored for outstanding service throughout the previous year.
Officer of the year
Zachary Robertson was named the 2012 officer of the year. He started his career with the Anoka Police Department as a security officer in August 2007 and became a patrol officer in 2009. He also received the five-year honorable service medal, is an explorer adviser and has recently been trained as a DARE officer.
Employee of the year
Security Officer Jacob Sorteberg is the Anoka Police Department employee of the year for 2012. Sorteberg grew up in Anoka and received the Anoka Police Federation Scholarship in 2009. He received his AA degree in law enforcement from Alexandria Technical and Community College in 2011 and has multiple emergency services certifications. He began working for the APD security unit in December 2011 and also volunteers as a member of the reserve unit.
Anoka Police Reserve Lt. Brian Nagle received the honorable discharge medal for volunteering to help the Anoka Police Department for the last 15 years. Nagle has volunteered numerous hours to the department and the citizens of Anoka.
APD Reserve Sgt. Chad Hagen was promoted to the rank of reserve lieutenant.
of the year
Reserve officer of the year for 2012 is Andrew Provo, who joined the Anoka Police Reserve Unit in May 2011. Provo is described as someone who will rarely pass up an opportunity to take any additional training and is the first to volunteer for extra duties. He volunteered to serve 152 hours with the APD Reserve Unit in 2012.
Anoka County Sheriff’s Deputy Tony Nelson and APD Security Officer Todd Willenbring received the exceptional serve award for their bravery in apprehending an out of control patient who was assaulting a nurse at the Anoka Metro Regional Treatment Center in November.
Willenbring and reserve officer Jake Sorteberg were awarded an exceptional service award for their assistance in apprehending a male who had run from the scene of a domestic assault in December.
Letter of commendation
Investigator Paul Schley received a letter of commendation for his work in the investigation of a shooting that occurred in November 2011. Schley worked with many law enforcement agencies in preparing the case for federal prosecution. Nearly a year after the incident, the suspect was convicted and sentenced in federal court to 15 years in prison as an armed career criminal in possession of a firearm.
Patrol Officer Brent Solei was awarded the exceptional service medal for his tenacity in finding and arresting an individual for being in possession of a large amount of methamphetamine during a September 2012 incident.
Civilian service award
Anoka County Sheriff Reserve Lt. Vern Waldner received the APD’s civilian service award for volunteering to help support the department with the safety and security of the annual Anoka Halloween parades for the past 21 years.
Honored for five years of service were Zachary Robertson (patrol officer), Julie Splettstoesser (records tech) and Alex McArdle (security officer).
Honored for 10 years of service Derek Nelson (patrol officer).
Honored for 15 years of service Mark Yates (patrol officer).
Honored for 20 years of service Sgt. Andy Youngquist (patrol officer) and Mary Wellman (patrol officer).
Sgt. Eric Peterson was also awarded the education achievement medal for earning his bachelor’s degree in law enforcement from Metropolitan State University.
The Anoka Police Explorers Unit, in existence since 1986, currently has 12 members. The president and captain for 2013 is Joshua Berg. The lieutenant for 2013 is Chelsea Yeager and sergeant is Anastasia Asp.
At the annual Minnesota Explorer competition in Rochester the Anoka group took fourth place as a team in the overall shoot. Derek Merkl took fourth place in slow fire and had the first-place aggregate score.