The Scott County Sheriff’s Office was selected as a recipient of the 2020 Guardians of the Flame Award, according to a news release from the office. This award is normally presented at the annual Minnesota Sheriff’s Association Conference but was postponed due to the pandemic. The award was instead presented to the office during a Special Olympics Minnesota Executive Council virtual meeting on Jan. 27.
The Law Enforcement Torch Run Guardians of the Flame Award was created to “recognize outstanding law enforcement agencies who have significantly contributed to the state-wide success of the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics Minnesota,” the release said. Every year, Special Olympics of Minnesota presents the award to one police department and one sheriff’s office. The Scott County Sheriff’s Office was nominated by Savage Police Chief Rodney Seurer.
The sheriff’s office has been involved in the Law Enforcement Torch Run every year since 2002, with several deputies participating in the final leg portion of the run in Shakopee and Savage. The office also participates and organizes other activities that benefit Special Olympics of Minnesota, including the Prior Lake Polar Plunge and various Tip-A-Cop events.
In 2009, together with the Shakopee Police Department, the Savage Police Department, and Mdewakanton Public Safety, Sheriff’s Office Sgt. John Kvasnicka organized and implemented the first Polar Plunge in Prior Lake. Since then, the Prior Lake Polar Plunge has raised over $1.2 million and involved more than 6,100 plungers. The sheriff’s office has also become involved in organizing and assisting with Tip-A-Cop events across the Scott County through the leadership of Community Engagement Deputy Amy Lueck. In the past three years, more than $8,000 has been raised by Lueck and other agency partners during Tip-A-Cop events, the release said.
“The Sheriff’s Office is proud of its work and collaboration with its law enforcement partners, local businesses, and leaders throughout Scott County to support, raise awareness, and further the mission of the Minnesota Law Enforcement Torch Run and support Special Olympics athletes in Minnesota,” said Sheriff Luke Hennen.
To learn more about the Guardians of the Flame Award, visit the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics of Minnesota website at https://www.letr.org/.