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Medal of Merit Class B
Established 1972

Photo of Medal of MeritAwarded to a member for a highly creditable, unusual police accomplishment.

September 6, 1975

Officer David Huberty
Officer Huberty and his partner Jerome Kubash observed smoke billowing from a residential apartment at 373 Virginia. Officer Huberty crawled into the apartment and located an unconscious victim. He brought the victim to safety and started first aid. Officer Huberty was awarded the First Medal of Merit in the history of the department.

January 15, 1977

Officer John Fisher
While off duty at Highway 5 and the Mississippi River bridge, Officer Fisher observed a vehicle overturned and on tire. He approached the burning vehicle and put his life in danger to rescue the woman trapped inside.

August 11, 1987

Officer Michael Garvey
Officer Kevin Hammel

At grave personal risk, officers entered a burning building, put out a gasoline fire and assisted people from the burning building, saving human lives and preventing considerable property damage.

January 6, 1995

Officer Leonard Rogge
For his response to a fire where he prevented a child from reentering the apartment and checked the second floor for other residents.

July 18, 1985

Officer Richard Tibesar
For entering a burning building at great risk to himself in search of possible victims.

December 17, 1985

Officer Francis Jacobs
For the arrest of two aimed robbery suspects without regard for his own personal safety.

December 17, 1985

Officer Richard Muñoz
For the arrest of two armed robbery suspects without regard for his own personal safety.

October 17, 1986

Officer Timothy Poucher
For the rescue of an infant from a burning building.

December 6, 1986

Officer Gary Rivet
Officer Joseph Stiles
Officer Joseph Mollner

For the superior investigation of a homicide.

March 26, 1987

Sergeant Richard Weisman
For the arrest of a murder suspect.

January 5, 1988

Officer Terrance O’Brien
For protecting the victims of an in-progress robbery with disregard to his own personal safety.

September 14, 1988

Sergeant James Feckey
For saving a woman trapped in a burning vehicle.

August 19, 1989

Officer Cyril Dargay
Officer Catherine Janssen
Officer Patrick Lyttle

For safety removing a young child from a house totally engulfed in flames.

November 10, 1989

Officer Timothy Bradley
For safety removing a hysterical woman from an apartment engulfed in flames and smoke.

January 20, 1990

Officer Shoua Cha
For safely removing an unconscious man locked in a burning vehicle.

September 9, 1990

Officer Norman Cherrey
Officer David Gora

For their courageous performance in the rescue effort of a woman from the Mississippi River.

December 16, 1990

Officer Michael Maloney
Officer Douglas Holtz

For life saving actions at a residential fire exemplifying professionalism its best.

March 10, 1993

Officer John Wess
For his actions in administering CPR and saving the life of a child who had stopped breathing.

July 17, 1993

Officer David Mathison
For his diligence and dedication to duty in administering CPR and saving the life of a child who had fallen into a swimming pool and stopped breathing.

August 26, 1993

Commander Laurence McDonald
For his dedication to duty and outstanding performance in handling the department’s response to Operation Rescue during the summer.

July 24, 1993

Officer Howard Swintek
For his dedication to duty and outstanding performance involving an emotionally disturbed person who had barricaded herself in a motel room. The situation was ultimately resolved successfully.

December 11, 1993

Officer Thu Cha
Officer John Dewitt
Officer Ronald Ryan, Jr.

For their actions in rescuing three small children from a house fire on the East Side.

February 12, 1994

Officer Don Benner
Officer Jane Cooper
Officer Gerald Johnson
Officer Steven Smith

For their actions involving a homicide at 782 Dayton Avenue. After hearing gunfire they were part of a team that secured the premises, detained 28 people in the residence, recovered evidence and remained in control of a volatile situation. The suspect was identified from the 28 people detained.

September 3, 1994

Officer Arnold Paul
For disarming a dangerous suspect who had taken a hostage, with no harm to anyone. He confronted the suspect and through skillful police work and quick thinking prevented that suspect from escaping.

February 3, 1995

Officer John Wess
For his superior judgment in disarming a person threatening suicide.

October 24, 1993

Officer Patrick Lyttle
For preventing the escape of an armed individual. Disregarding his own safety, Officer Lyttle challenged the suspect and affected his arrest.

February 10, 1995

Officer Lila Janis
For remarkable control at a call involving several youths, one of them armed. This person was later arrested without incident.

April 10, 1995

Sergeant John LaBossiere
For an arrest of an armed assault suspect in a congested downtown area.

July 24, 1995

Officer Robed Fleming
Officer Bradley Schultz

For subduing an armed and suicidal youth.

August 16, 1995

Officer Patrick Kellerman
For the safe removal of a suicidal “EDP” person from the concrete arch over the Robert Street Bridge.

August 20, 1995

Officer Jeffry Lewis
For saving an unconscious individual at home.

January 25, 1996

Sergeant John M. Culhane
Sergeant Thomas F. Dunaski

For the long term FBI Drug Task Force investigation into the murder and drug sales that culminated in a murder conviction, 30 convictions of Twin City cocaine dealers, involving 16 out-of-state distribution gangs.

December 16, 1995

Officer Howard J. Swintek
For the arrest of an armed suspect in the robbery of the Midway National Bank where the suspect fled and abducted a car, holding two citizens at gunpoint

April 15, 1996

Officer Lenora E. Travls
For being instrumental in arresting one of the suspects who had fled from the scene of a shooting where Ramsey County Deputy Sheriff Lieutenant A. Blakey was shot.

July 7, 1996

Sergeant Dennis L. Jensen
Sergeant Eugene P. Polyak
Officer William F. Krismer

For the arrest of an aggravated assault suspect that exchanged gunfire with arresting officers.

July 25, 1996

Officer Holly E. Brodt
Officer Bruce F. Brodt

For attempting to save a suicidal party under extreme and hazardous conditions.

August 7, 1996

Officer Steve J. Anderson
Officer John P. Buchmeier

For the handling of an armed robbery in progress where victims’ lives were threatened.

August 25, 1996

Officer James S. Campbell
Officer Jane L. Laurence
Officer Mark P. Wiegel

For the handling of a homicide incident and the containment of the shooting suspect.

August 28, 1996

Officer David A. Clemens
Officer Howard J. Swintek

For risking their lives in removing two children from harm’s way, and in the search for other possible residents in a home fire.

November 6, 1997

Officer Timothy R. Bradley
Officer Julie K. Harris
Officer Vincent E. Martin
Officer Thomas A. Perzichilli
Officer David A. Sohm
Officer Robert L. Thomasser

For risking their lives while confronting an armed suspect who fired a handgun several times as he wandered from one location to another threatening citizens and ultimately pointing his gun at officers as be advanced toward them.

February 25, 1997

Officer Amy M. Boyer
Officer Kenneth C. Jensen
Officer Thomas Perzichilli
Officer Kathleen O’Reilly
Officer Robert Weier

For risking their lives in rescue of victims from the porch roof of a burning house; for rescuing a person from inside the burning house and for reentering the house in an attempt to save another.

September 6, 1997

Officer Jeffrey Slagerman
For steadfast courage and steady calmness while a suicidal man pointed a gun at the officer, allowing the officer to get other family members to safety and talk the armed man into surrendering.

April to December 1997

Sergeant Patrick D. Kellerman
Officer Michael A. Ardolf
Officer Raymond A. Gainey
Officer Peter T. Panos
Officer Timothy C. Pinoniemi

For developing and implementing an undercover storefront operation targeting street level drug dealers through their use of cellular phones.

March 10, 1998

Officer David C. Peterson
For dedication to duty and professionalism in apprehending a suspect armed with a handgun without using deadly force though such use would have been appropriate.

December 1997

Sergeant Patricia T. Englund
Officer Richard W. Straka

For dedication to duty and professionalism while working with Asian gangs in initiating a criminal sexual conduct investigation which led to the identification of numerous victims and the arrest of eight suspects.

May 26, 1998

Sergeant Charles K Anderson
Sergeant Neil P. Nelson
Sergeant Richard J. Munoz
Officer Timothy P. Lynaugh

For courage and dedication in effecting the arrest of four murder suspects. The officers were clearly in harm’s way. Officer Lynaugh’s K-9, Callahan, was shot and killed by one of the suspects.

October 29, 1998

Sergeant Nancy J. Smolik
For extraordinary dedication and an invaluable contribution while working endless hours (sometimes around the clock) during the 603/Six Mob Gangsters murder investigation.

February 27, 2002

Sergeant Tom Dunaski
For actions exemplifying professionalism at its best. On July 20, 1996, four year old Devisha Gillum was murdered by gunfire while sitting in a car with her mother in a gas station. You worked with Sergeant Nancy Smolik, Sergeant Jane Mead and Officer Rob Kosloske, to plan the use of informants and intelligence gathering techniques allowing officers to infiltrate three drug operations. Following their arrests and facing a range of prison sentences three 60's Crips leaders cooperated with the murder investigation. The murderers were eventually brought to justice.

September 26, 2002

Officer James Nash
For actions exempliying professionalism at its best. You and your K-9 partner Mic assisted at a home invasion call. You encountered the suspect who was pointing a gun at the victim. Ignoring your commands to drop the gun the suspect turned the gun on you. You began to squeeze the trigger on your Glock but another victim got into your line of fire, you refrained from shooting and the suspect ran away. You and Mic then tracked and apprehended the suspect. You exercised quick and sound judgment in a deadly force situation.

November 26, 2002

Officer Jeffrey A. Whitbeck
For exceptional actions when you were assigned to an arrest team for a buy/bust detail. After receiving the bust signal, you and other officers moved in for the arrest. The suspect then accelerated his vehicle towards you and other officers. Fearing for the safety of other officers, you fired two rounds at the suspect in attempt to change his course of action. Your quick and brave actions lead suspect to swerve, missing other officers and saving them and yourself from further injury.

May 29, 2003

Officer Robert A. Stanway
For exceptional actions when noticed a man with one leg over the railing of a bridge looking like he was going to jump. When you arrived on scene he now had his back towards you and was completely over the railing. He told you that he was going to jump and that you could not stop him. You walked closer while talking to him. When you got close enough you grabbed him in a "bear hug" and several motorists that had stopped, helped you pull him back over the railing. With disregard for your own safety, you prevented the suspect from taking his own life.

January 29, 2004

Officer Ann Anderson
Officer Cort Baumgart
Officer Darren Johnson
Officer Shawn M. Shanley
Officer Jeff Stiff

For exceptional actions after being sent to a domestic call. Information stated the son threatened his mother with a gun and left in a white vehicle. The vehicle was spotted and a felony stop developed. The driver was secured, but the passenger reached under the passenger seat and pulled out a gun. You maintained cover while ordering the suspect to drop his weapon. Fearing for the safety of all officers and nearby patrons, you had to use deadly force.

March 30, 2004

Officer Steven T. Jabs
For exceptional actions after you responded to a call to check the welfare of an elderly woman. Once there, you observed a male inside the house. He opened the door. You questioned him as to the whereabouts of the woman. Suspicious of his story, you secured him and entered the house. You found the woman unconscious and barely breathing. The suspect choked her and planned on robbing her. You rendered first aid and requested medics for the woman. Without your quick thinking and persistence, the woman may have suffered life-threatening injuries.

May 18, 2004

Officer Jeffrey M. Stiff
On March 3, 2004, you were sent to the area of Mississippi and Grove streets on a drunk male casing cars. When you arrived, you found an individual matching the description carrying some type of gun. As you began to give him verbal commands to drop the gun, he started walking toward you. He failed to comply with your instructions in Kenya and continued to walk toward you making grunting noises. You recognized these noises to be consistent with a person that is hearing impaired. You were able to grab him and escort him to the ground, knocking the gun out of his hands, and preventing what could have easily developed into a deadly force situation. Your quick thinking, courage, dedication and professionalism are recognized by this Medal of Merit Award.

September 29, 2005

Officer Robert J. Buth
On August 17, 2005, you and your partner Officer Trygve Sand were sent to the East Side on a man with a knife call who was out of control, banging on walls, breaking windows, screaming and waving a ten inch knife around. As you investigated the call, the suspect rushed out of an apartment several times, waving the knife. At one point, he rushed straight at you with the knife held in a threatening manner. Both of you had no choice but to use your weapons to defend yourselves. You attempted to stun him with your Taser and Officer Sand was forced to use his firearm at a distance of three feet, wounding and disarming the suspect. He remained hostile during the entire incident including the time after he was shot. Your courage, dedication and professionalism are recognized by this Medal of Merit Award.

September 29, 2005

Officer Trygve O. Sand
On August 17, 2005, you and your partner Officer Robert Buth were sent to the East Side on a man with a knife call who was out of control, banging on walls, breaking windows, screaming and waving a ten inch knife around. As you investigated the call, the suspect rushed out of an apartment several times, waving the knife. At one point, he rushed straight at you with the knife held in a threatening manner. Both of you had no choice but to use your weapons to defend yourselves. Officer Buth attempted to stun him with his Taser and you were forced to use your firearm at a distance of three feet, wounding and disarming the suspect. He remained hostile during the entire incident including the time after he was shot. Your courage, dedication and professionalism are recognized by this Medal of Merit Award.

March 3, 2006

Sergeant Paul G. Paulos
On February 23, 2005, you immediately responded to an "officer down" call where Ramsey County Deputy Chris Tayson was shot and seriously wounded on Ames Avenue in Saint Paul. Once there, you saw a male who matched the suspect description running away from the scene. You followed the suspect around the corner in time to see him throw a gun aside that he had removed from his waist. You used your squad car to stop the suspect, thereby containing him and eliminating any further threat to other officers and citizens. He was subsequently arrested and the handgun was recovered. You went above the call of duty in your efforts to capture a violent gang member who had just been involved in shooting a deputy. Your courage, dedication and professionalism are recognized by this Medal of Merit Award.

April 27, 2006

Officer Mark T. Reding
On January 17, 2006, you were working on a surveillance detail in plain clothes and an unmarked vehicle. While on Sherburne Avenue and Kent Street, you noticed several males standing on this corner. One of these males raised his hand and started shooting a handgun. Without regard for your own safety, you exit your vehicle and without the perfection of body armor, confronted this armed suspect. After identifying yourself as a police officer, the suspect threw the gun into a snow bank. You single handedly arrested the suspect and recovered the gun used in the shooting. You went above and beyond the call of duty by putting your life on the line. My most sincere thanks for your fine performance which reflects most creditably upon you and the Saint Paul Police Department.

April 27, 2006

Officer Troy Greene
In late 2004, a gang war escalated between the BFL and Latin King gang and soon after Operation Wild Kingdom was initiated in which you played a significant role. Your familiarity with these gang members allowed you to go undercover and buy guns from them. You gathered so much evidence and intelligence, that the DEA and FBI became involved. You put countless hours of work into obtaining federal arrest warrants for twenty seven people and were the main contact between the Saint Paul Police Department and the nineteen federal agencies involved. In 2006, nine search warrants were executed with twenty one suspects taken into custody and six guns, a half pound of cocaine and over $70,000 cash were recovered. This shutdown of the Latin King gang would not have happened without your hard work and dedication.

June 29, 2006

Sergeant Karsten J. Winger
On May 23, 2006, a squad was sent to East Jessamine Street and the baby not breathing. Because you were closer to the call than the squad was, you immediately assisted. Once there, you observe the baby girl, with blue lips, hands and feet. She was one of a set of triplets born nine weeks premature. You immediately began administering CPR and were able to get the baby breathing on her own. You then supervised the child's prompt transport by medics to a local hospital for an examination. Your quick response saved this little girl's life for which her parents will be forever grateful. My most sincere thanks for your fine performance, which reflects most creditably upon you and the Saint Paul Police Department.

June 29, 2006

Officer Michael P. Carroll
As the Crime Free Multi Housing Officer for the Eastern District, you work closely with apartment complex personnel, Code Enforcement, LIEP, St. Paul Fire Inspectors, and City and County Attorneys to keep drugs and illegal activity out of our city's rental and privately owned properties. Your tireless work has improved the quality of life for the Eastern District Community. This is evidenced by the 146 evictions in 2005, your weekly maps and statistics along with a monthly summary of Eastern District's Staff Map program. Your participation in the selection process of the new crime mapping system will give officers immediate information and reports in their squads of problem properties. Your good judgment, dedication and professionalism are recognized by this Medal of Merit Award.

August 31, 2006

Sergeant William S. Duff
Sergeant Jane E. Mead Sergeant
Thomas F. Dunaski

On May 22, 1970, St. Paul Police Officer James Sackett was murdered by assassins while responding to an emergency call for help. Investigators developed leads as to those involved, but intimidation from the suspects resulted in the failed prosecution and the case became inactive. In 2002, the case was reopened. You committed yourself to reviewing all archived Saint Paul Police records, FBI files, and hundreds of files from other law enforcement agencies around the country that were related to the case. Countless hours of work over four years were devoted to bringing this investigation to a successful conclusion. The convictions of Ronald Reed and Larry Clark for the First Degree Murder of Officer James Sackett, speaks volumes for the exceptional work you performed. My most sincere thanks for your dedication to this case.

November 21, 2006

Officer Robert J. Kruse
On May 3, 2002, you responded to a purse snatching suspect being detained near the AFL-CIO building on Aurora. Once you arrived, you observed citizens fighting with the suspect and holding him down. As you approached, the suspect managed to break free and ran to a parked car on University. You gave chase on foot and as you approached the front of his vehicle, the suspect attempted to run you over. You drew your service weapon ordering him to stop. He ignored your order and sped up striking you and causing you to be thrown to the vehicle's hood. Fearing for your own life, you fired two rounds through the windshield. The vehicle ended up striking a parked car and the suspect stepped out and fell to the ground. You were able to handcuff him and call for medics. Your courageous actions are recognized by this Award.

November 21, 2006

Commander Robert L. Thomasser
Operation Sunrise was a joint cooperative operation between our department, Ramsey County Attorney's Office and the Minnesota Gang Strike Force with the objective to target street level narcotics dealers and gang members who had been terrorizing the Frogtown area of Saint Paul. You were able to buy guns and narcotics from close to 100 different individuals which resulted in over 230 separate felony charges against these defendants. With the valuable help of the Ramsey County Attorney's office, you were able to build successful drug and RICO cases against the nine defendants and also charge several others federally for narcotic sales. Your work on this detail removed a major drug dealing gang from the neighborhood that once took over Frogtown. Your dedication and commitment are recognized by this Medal of Merit Award.

November 21, 2006

Officer Timothy P. Lynaugh
In September, 2006, the St. Paul Police Canine Unit hosted the United States Police Association's (USPCA) National Field Trials in the City of Saint Paul. The planning and coordination of this premiere event took over 18 months to accomplish. You were the primary force behind all the planning and coordination for this event. You were instrumental in securing funding support, organizing volunteers, locating a hotel large enough to host the visiting agencies, working with local, state and federal agencies in arranging locations for the events, working with the Chamber of Commerce to promote the event, and arranging evening excursions for the competitors. You personally took care of every detail no matter how small to ensure the event was a complete success. My sincere thanks for your hard work and dedication.

August 30, 2007

Officer Sayareth T. Vixayvong
In 2006, you worked in numerous undercover narcotic details which involved putting yourself in unpredictable and dangerous situations. Not many individuals are able to work undercover due to the stress and potential volatility of the assignments. Yet, you made yourself available at all hours of the day and weekends so that the undercover narcotic operations could be completed, some which involved those who were suspected to have ties to Vietnamese organized crime. In many situations, you were dealing with unknown people who were selling large amounts of illegal drugs. Because of your commitment and superior performance many individuals were indicted, including one case which is believed to be one of the largest cocaine seizures in the Saint Paul Police Department's history. You have demonstrated that you are a highly creditable undercover officer for our department and your work is recognized by this Award.

January 28, 2010

Officer Richard L. Beard
On December 14, 2009, you and Officers Leonard Manning and Matthew Webb were sent to a domestic call. The victim stated the man inside the apartment was in a crazed state and had knives. He did not comply with orders to open the door. You quickly drew up a tactical plan and breached the door. When you entered, the suspect had knives in both hands. He refused to drop them and a Taser was used which caused him to fall to the ground. A small knife was dropped, but a larger knife was not visible as a long struggle ensued between you, the other two officers and the suspect. In a situation where deadly force could have easily been justified, you remained calm under volatile circumstances and chose not to shoot the suspect. I thank you for your courageous actions that reflect most creditably on you and the department.

January 28, 2010

Officer Leonard P. Manning
On December 14, 2009, you and Officers Richard Beard and Matthew Webb were sent to a
domestic call. The victim stated the man inside the apartment was in a crazed state and had
knives. He did not comply with orders to open the door. You quickly drew up a tactical plan
and breached the door. When you entered, the suspe3ct had knives in both hands. He
refused to drop them and a Taser was used which caused him to fall to the ground. A small
knife was dropped, but a larger knife was not visible as a long struggle ensued between you,
the other two officers and the suspect. In a situation where deadly force could have easily
been justified, you remained calm under volatile circumstances and chose not to shoot the
suspect. I thank you for your courageous actions that reflect most creditably on you and the
department.

January 28, 2010

Officer Matthew R. Webb
On December 14, 2009, you and Officers Richard Beard and Leonard Manning were sent to a domestic call. The victim stated the man inside the apartment was in a crazed state and had knives. He did not comply with orders to open the door. You quickly drew up a tactical plan and breached the door. When you entered, the suspect had knives in both hands. He refused to drop them and a Taser was used which caused him to fall to the ground. A small knife was dropped, but a larger knife was not visible as a long struggle ensued between you, the other two officers and the suspect. In a situation where deadly force could have easily been justified, you remained calm under volatile circumstances and chose not to shoot the suspect. I thank you for your courageous actions that reflect most creditably on you and the department.

July 22, 2010

Officer Eric D. Vang-Sitcler
On May 1, 2010, Maplewood Police Sergeant Joseph Bergeron was killed while on duty. A search began for two suspects in Saint Paul. One of the suspects' descriptions matched that of a young man you had befriended and developed a good rapport with over the past several years. The father of this man eventually advised you that his son had contacted him and stated he was in trouble. You immediately tracked him down and began mediating with him. After several hours of phone conversations, you were able to negotiate with him and persuade him to surrender peacefully, which he did. Your vast knowledge of possible suspects, and natural ability to mediate and to remain calm in intense situations, helped Maplewood and Saint Paul Police make an arrest and put an end to a horrific day.

November 29, 2012

Officer Sayareth T. Vixayvong
In December, 2011, an undercover investigation began on an Asian gang member selling large amounts of methamphetamines. You maintained and built a relationship with this very dangerous criminal over a few months. The investigation revealed that the suspect not only sold drugs from his home, but was tied to a very large drug cartel and was in possession of handguns. You were put in a very risky and precarious situation during your undercover work. You were often in the company of meth users and knew any wrong move could put you in grave danger. Your work was instrumental in the success of this operation. Eighteen pounds of meth were recovered, along with guns, cash and vehicles. I thank you for your exemplary performance which reflects most creditably on you and the department.

May 23, 2013

Officer Jeremy A. Ellison
You have worked the Safe and Sober Program for a number of years and have always questioned the cumbersome way officers needed to log their activity for the program. For four years, you worked with Glen Fingerholz, an employee with the City's Office of Technology, to improve the system. This project went beyond your expectations and was a great success not only for the department as originally planned, but other agencies as well. By working closely with Mr. Fingerholz, a program called ROAR, Real-time Officer Activity Reporting, was developed. By the fall of2012, every law enforcement agency in the State of Minnesota began using ROAR with great enthusiasm. The selfless hours you donated, the professionalism displayed, and your tenacity to see this project through from start to finish are admirable.