3rd Law Enforcement Appreciation Event planned for Sept. 16

Staff Writer
Since 2013, I have primarily covered the Anoka-Hennepin and Spring Lake Park school districts as well as the city of Spring Lake Park for ABC Newspapers.

Missy Rumble and Tami Serna, daughters of retired Coon Rapids police officer Denny Preston, now deceased, first organized the Law Enforcement Appreciation Event in 2015.

With Rumble and Serna at the helm again, the Sept. 16 event will be much the same as it has the past two years, honoring law enforcement for the sacrifices they make to keep everyone safe on a daily basis.

But Preston, who served the Coon Rapids Police Department for 26 years, will be notably absent.

“He is the main reason this event was created in 2015,” Serna said on social media. “The planning of this year’s event has proven to be difficult and very different than prior years. However, it has taken on new meaning for us.”

Opting to spend his last remaining days at home in hospice care, Preston received a police escort to his home last October and was greeted by Coon Rapids officers.

“This is why we want to thank our law enforcement. As a community, we want to show our law enforcement officers that we see them. We see their kind hearts. We see their sacrifices. We appreciate all that they do for the community,” Serna said.

Instead of being held at the Coon Rapids Legion, as the event has been since its inception, the Coon Rapids VFW Post 9625, 1919 Coon Rapids Blvd., will host the event this time around.

Activities on Saturday, Sept. 16, start up at 2 p.m. and run until 11 p.m.

Police K-9 demonstrations kick off the event. They are followed by a mini parade featuring firefighter and police tribute trucks.

Attendees can dunk a cop and explore squad cars.

Food trucks, inflatables, a photo booth, a rock wall, a silent auction and more are available for attendees to enjoy.

This Is How We Duet will perform in the afternoon, and country-rock artist Shane Martin takes the stage in the evening.

At 6 p.m., several speakers will address attendees, including featured speaker Lt. Randy Sutton, retired Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department officer and the voice of Blue Lives Radio.

A candle light vigil will be held at dusk.

The event is free, but some activities, as well as food and drink, do carry an additional cost.

Money raised will benefit the Minnesota Law Enforcement Memorial Association and Backing the Blue Line: Police Wives of Minnesota.

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