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Big Lake officer recognized as not just a DWI all-star, but DWI rock star

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Tyler Sinclair MT

Jeffrey Hage / Monticello Times

Big Lake Police Officer holds an engraved baseball bat and baseball cap after being recognized by the Minnesota Office of Traffic Safety as a DWI all-star on Wednesday, Aug. 26 in the city council chambers.


Finding DWI offenders has been a passion of Big Lake Police Officer Tyler Sinclair.

Now, after nearly four years with the BLPD, Sinclair has been recognized by a state agency for his work in arresting impaired drivers.

The Minnesota Office of Traffic Safety has recognized Sinclair with its annual DWI All-Star award. The award honors the top prosecutors, state troopers, sheriff’s deputies and police officers for the work they do in getting DWI offenders off the streets in Minnesota.

Sinclair isn’t just a DWI all-star, according to Becky Putzke, a law enforcement liaison with the office of traffic safety who recognized Sinclair at the Wednesday, Aug. 26 meeting of the Big Lake City Council. He’s a DWI enforcement rock star.

“Let me give you an idea of what kind of rock star Officer Sinclair is,” Putzke said.

In the last year, Sinclair made 43 DWI arrests, Putzke said. That’s 38 percent of the 111 DWI arrests made by the Big Lake Police Department. Sinclair also leads all law enforcement officials in Sherburne County with his 43 DWI arrests, Putzke said.

Putzke said in her opinion there are very few things more dangerous than an impaired driver, and that’s why the work of Officer Sinclair is important.

“That’s 43 potential lives saved,” she said of Sinclair’s efforts to get impaired drivers off the road.

“Who knows how much more harm they could have done,” Putzke said of the offenders.

Duane Siedsclag, the impaired driving coordinator for the Minnesota Office of Traffic Safety who heads the DWI all-star program, was on hand to share that Sinclair and the other men and women selected as DWI all-stars arrested 3,170 impaired drivers.

 “We’re making huge strides in making Minnesota a safer place,” Duane Siedsclag said. “Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all you do to help maker Minnesota safe.”

Big Lake Police Chief Joel Scharf thanked Sinclair and the other members of the department for all they do to get impaired drivers off the streets of Big Lake.

“Everyone in our community knows that impaired driving and traffic safety is a priority for the Big Lake Police Department,” Scharf said.

The BLPD is successful because of Sinclair and other members of the police  department, he said.

Big Lake Mayor Mike Wallen shared an emotional look at why DWI enforcement is so important.

Wallen noted that his sister was killed by a drunk driver at age 20.

“It’s not just one person who dies,” Wallen said of DWI fatalities. “A little bit of a whole family dies along with them.”

Sinclair is the third Big Lake Police Officer to earn DWI all-star recognition. Officers Guy Chaffee and Joe Kalla have also earned the recognition, which traditionally is presented at Target Field in Minneapolis during a Minnesota Twins game. The COVID-19 pandemic changed that in 2020.

For his efforts, Putzke presented Sinclair with a commemorative baseball bat engraved with his name, date, and the agency for which he works. He also received a custom baseball hat.

Sinclair offered his thanks to the community and his team at the Big Lake Police Department. He noted that DWI enforcement is just one of many steps in helping make Big Lake a safer place.

“I’m going to continue to try and make some DWI arrests,” Sinclair said before leaving the meeting.


Jeff Hage is the managing editor of the Monticello Times. He majored in journalism at the University of Wisconsin- Eau Claire.

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