The Columbia Heights Police Association held its annual holiday party for all Association members. Several officers were also recognized for their work over the past year.
Officer Dietz received the Medal of Commendation for his brave actions on June 21, 2012, when he responded to a report of a burglary in progress at a residence in Hilltop. Upon arrival, he observed a glow from inside the residence and was advised by dispatch that the suspect involved had started a fire. Dietz acted quickly by grabbing his squad fire extinguisher to put out the fire and evacuated the two residents who were sleeping inside. Because of Dietz’s decisive actions, he prevented significant harm to the victims of an already serious crime.
Gary Kallestad and Steve Korts
Officer Kallestad and Officer Korts received the Medal of Commendation for their quick, heroic response to a call of a suicidal female on Dec. 17, 2011, on the 4100 block of Seventh Street. Upon arrival, they found a vehicle running inside a closed garage. All doors to the garage, including the overhead garage door, were locked. Officer Korts attempted to force entry through the service door while Officer Kallestad grabbed entry tools to force entry into the garage. Officer Korts gained entry and opened both overhead doors. The garage was filled with exhaust fumes and Officer Korts found a female in the driver’s seat of the running vehicle.
They opened the doors to the vehicle and saw that the female was holding a pen to her throat, threatening to hurt herself, and she refused to drop the pen. She pleaded that she wanted to die. Officer Kallestad grabbed the victim’s wrist and took the pen away from her. They took her into protective custody and she was transported to a hospital.
Officer Nightingale received the CHPD Award of Merit for his work in the Community Oriented Policing (COP) coordinator position. Because of his work ethic, communication skills, dedication and devotion to the department and community, he has made the COP coordinator position and the department community policing initiatives some of the most successful in CHPD history.
Sgt. Rogers received the CHPD Award of Merit for his work in the supervision of the Department of Community Policing Efforts and for being a key factor in securing grant funding for the Community Oriented Policing coordinator position. As the supervisor of the COP coordinator, his leadership has impacted the following initiatives: Neighborhood Watch, community outreach, landlord training, Business Watch, and Anoka County Lethality Assessment Program.