On Thursday, March 2, the Isanti County Law Enforcement Banquet was held, and a total of 15 people were honored for their actions in 2022. Speeches from the banquet were provided by Isanti County Sheriff’s Office.
2022 Officer of the Year
Officer Adam Rackow
Officer Rackow has continually demonstrated excellence in policing in his role as an Isanti Police Officer. He has an incredible amount of determination for searching out crime within the city. It is not uncommon for Officer Rackow to spend numerous hours over several days gathering intelligence, conducting surveillance, while still maintaining his responsibilities as a Patrol Officer.
Officer Rackow has tracked down, gathered information, and made 29 proactive warrant arrests in 2022. One of these arrests was after several weeks of surveillance and interviews of known acquaintances. Officer Rackow finally was able to locate the subject wearing a wig and full disguise attempting to flee a residence. Officer Rackow’s persistence with this arrest lead to three other persons arrested and charged for felony aiding an offender to avoid arrest.
Officer Rackow takes self-initiated pro-activity to the next level. In 2022 he had stopped and cited 184 drivers for driving after revocation and made 10 self-initiated felony narcotics arrests.
The Lifesaving Award
Patrol Sergeant now Chief Deputy John Gillquist
Deputy Evan Oltz
On May 4, 2022, at 2105, Sgt. Gillquist and Deputy Oltz were dispatched to an address in the county for a 38-year-old male party who was passed out in a vehicle and was possibly not breathing. While en-route to the location, dispatch advised that CPR had been started on the subject.
Upon their arrival, he observed a male party on the ground next to a vehicle and a female performing CPR. Sgt. Gillquist was informed that drug use may have been involved and he retrieved a Narcan kit out of his medical bag and Deputy Oltz took over performing CPR.
Sgt. Gillquist administered Narcan and supplied O2 to the subject. After approximately 3 minutes, Sergeant Gillquist took over chest compressions while Deputy Oltz retrieved his AED. After the AED was hooked up and the male still being unresponsive, Deputy Oltz retrieved his Narcan kit and administered a second dose to the subject. Shortly after the second dose, the male subject began breathing and a pulse was detected by Sergeant Gillquist. North Ambulance and Princeton Fire staff arrived shortly after and took over assessing and tending to the male.
While the male was being loaded into the ambulance, he started waking up and was conscious and talking prior to being transported to the Princeton Hospital.
Isanti County Sheriff’s Office Sgt Brandon Oliver
Deputy Matt Burkhardt
At the time, Deputy Noah Heiller
On Nov. 15, 2022, Deputies were dispatched to an address in the county for a disorderly male. Dispatch advised that the subjects family was calling to report that the male was in the basement apartment fighting with his wife. Deputies had been at this address earlier in the night for this male’s behavior, but the family wanted him to remain at the house as long as he was calm and would go to bed.
Sgt. Oliver was first to arrive on scene. He observed the male through the door of the basement apartment. When the male realized that Sgt. Oliver was there, he ran to another part of the basement area. The wife came to the door and let Sgt. Oliver in. She advised him that the subject was going to overdose.
Sgt. Oliver entered the living room area of the apartment and the male came out of a bedroom where their children were located. While trying to figure out the situation, Sgt. Oliver detained the subject in handcuffs and brought him to the kitchen area. The subject began showing signs of medical distress and was in the process of overdose. The subject was placed in a kitchen chair and started to become unresponsive. Sgt. Oliver radioed for an ambulance and advised other responding deputies to bring their Narcan inside upon arrival while he retrieved his medical bag from his squad.
Deputy Burkhardt arrived on scene and they moved the subject from the chair to the kitchen floor after removing the handcuffs. Sgt. Oliver administered a dose of Narcan while Deputy Burkhardt located a pulse and administered oxygen and rescue breathing via a bag valve mask due to the subject not breathing.
Deputy Heiller arrived and took over rescue breaths while Deputy Burkhardt searched the bedroom for drug paraphernalia due to children being present in the home. Ultimately a used needle was found in the pocket of the subject’s pants. Allina Ambulance arrived shortly after and the subject began waking up. The male recovered enough and walked himself out to the ambulance where he was then transported to the hospital.
Cambridge Police Officers Eric Baumgart and Dan Owl
Cambridge Police Deputy Chief Shawn Machin
Isanti County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Jason Sievert
Isanti County Sheriff’s Office Captain John Elder
On Dec. 30, 2021, at 1:56 p.m., the Cambridge Police Department was dispatched to the area of First Avenue East and Adams Street South for a report of a female that had shot herself in the head. Isanti County Deputies also responded to the scene to assist.
When Cambridge Officers arrived on scene, they were met by the victim’s husband. The husband told dispatch that he returned to the vehicle after getting a haircut and heard a gunshot in the vehicle. When he returned to the vehicle, he found his wife had shot herself in the head.
Officers entered the vehicle and determined that the victim was still breathing. Officers and Deputies provided life-saving measures until the Allina ambulance arrived.
The victim was quickly loaded into the ambulance and transported to the Cambridge Medical Center. The victim in this incident survived and made a full recovery.
2022 ICLEA Citizen of the Year award
In his capacity as an Asset Protection Associate, Ken works closely with the Cambridge Police Department. Ken’s efforts in 2022 resulted in the apprehension and prosecution of suspects in 78 incidents of shoplifting. Several of those incidents resulted in the prosecution of multiple suspects and arrests of individuals on unrelated charges or warrants.
As a man who nearly never forgets a name or a face, Ken keeps his eye on the active Isanti County warrant list and notifies Cambridge Police whenever an individual with a warrant is in his store. In 2022, five individuals were apprehended on outstanding warrants simply because they walked in to the Walmart Store and Ken recognized them.
On multiple occasions, Ken has been able to provide a name to a face. Ken also keeps track of who comes and goes on Walmart’s property and is often able to tell officers if a suspect is, or has recently been, on the property.
Ken is a valuable community partner who goes above and beyond to not only protect the interests of Walmart but also Law Enforcement in Isanti County.
2022 Volunteer of the Year award
Reserve Officer Addie Leaf
Addie has volunteered more than 470 hours of her time as a reserve Officer for the City of Braham in 2022. She is always willing to help and is eager to learn. Addie has faced many new situations and has learned from them, as well as overcome challenges related to calls she has been to.
Addie has assisted on multiple major calls in 2022, including experiencing her first foot pursuit, her first suicide and her first overdose call. Addie was with Officer Verke during the foot pursuit and she showed incredible drive and bravery.
It was reported that Addie was very calming to the family members of the suicide victim and that she handled that situation very well. During the overdose call that Addie was on, she was very calm and played a vital role in the handling of that situation as well.
Addie has demonstrated that she can handle high stress situations and has shown great observation skills. She has been very helpful on traffic stops, observing multiple things from the passenger’s side of vehicles. She has pointed out many things of interest to officers, such as drug paraphernalia as well as open containers of alcohol.
2022 Employee of the Year
Police Support Specialist Penny Anderson
Penny started as a secretary with the Isanti Police Department on Sept. 14, 1992. She has become synonymous with the department over the past 30 years.
September 2022 marked her 30th year of dedicated service to the department that has grown to 10 full-time officers.
In 2021 an additional records staff position was created to a total of three and Penny’s position was changed to a lead records position. She oversees the two additional records staff and everything else that is necessary for the department to function smoothly.
Penny has stepped up on working into her new lead role. She has successfully brought the new records position into the mix of the department and continued to work effortlessly to make sure everything succeeds.
2022 Meritorious Service Award
Sergeant Kevin Lease
When the COVID pandemic occurred, and agencies were not permitting outside contact, the Braham Police Department suffered. On top of this isolation the majority of the previously approved POST board courses were expiring.
Braham Police Department realized it needs to create an internal training division and be able to meet the state mandated training requirements on their own. Sgt. Lease helped develop an exceptional training division that offered our officers not only the mandated training courses, but also specialized training opportunities all within their previously approved training budget.
Sgt. Lease started working on updating and submitting courses to POST so that they had courses to even teach. He also had to identify what instructors they needed and start to recruit a diversified instructor bank. Sgt. Lease had to work on reducing the training costs through partnering with their local range. This change alone reduced their direct employee labor costs by 1.5 hours per employee per training event, most of which was on overtime.
He was also instrumental in researching and bringing forward a training compliance software package that easily tracks each officer’s training so that the PD administration can easily assure training requirements are being met. This software also accurately tracks training costs so they can validate that training activities stay cost-effective and within a managed training budget.
2022 Distinguished Service Award
Community Service Officer Randi Smith
In January 2022, the Braham Police Department created a position that combined records management, Code Enforcement, crime prevention, and community outreach. Randi Smith was the candidate hired for this position.
Randi has surpassed expectations in aiding, developing, and expanding their social media presence, growing their followers to well over 9,000. She has aided in finding funding and building community partnerships to provide for the Braham Pin Pals program, which allows for kids in their community to bowl and eat pizza with police officers once a month.
Randi also facilitates their monthly “coffee with a cop” and “cones with a cop” programs. She has also been instrumental in the ongoing development of Braham’s crime-free multi-housing program.
Randi has taken all the classes necessary to manage the program as well as becoming certified to teach landlord courses in the future, if and when the program becomes a city of Braham ordinance. Randi has also developed and became certified as a child car seat technician and has offered multiple car seat clinics in Braham.
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