Deputies recognized

OTC's Finest: Left to right, Lt. Jim Stewart, Dep. Aaron Will, Dep. Allen Mekash, Sgt. Bob Huckeby of the Otter Tail County Sheriff's office.

It’s a job that has to be done, and the men and women of the Otter Tail County Sheriff’s Office do it with great professionalism and passion, dedication and service.

Every year “National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day” has been recognized as an opportunity to thank officers across the country for their dedication to public safety. Law enforcement officers in Otter Tail County (OTC) have answered a call to public service in a profession that puts their lives on the line for the communities they serve.

A deputy has many duties that the public often does not see or recognize. According to the Jan. 9, daily activity report from the sheriff’s office, so far this year deputies have responded to 50 vehicles off the road, two suicide threats/attempts, 31 EMS assists, served four orders of protection, made five DWI arrests and responded to 29 calls for assistance to the public. This is just a fraction of the work OTC deputies carried out over a nine-day period.

Commissioners’ chair, Betty Murphy, says it is very important to show our appreciation right now.

“On behalf of the OTC Board of Commissioners, I would like to thank the many law enforcement officers for their passion and commitment to keeping our families, communities and businesses safe. The work that you do is admired and well respected. We are very grateful for all of you,” said Murphy.

Sheriff Barry Fitzgibbons also emphasized how important it was to have the support of the communities they serve.

“Thank you to all those that put on their badge every day and go out and protect our communities. I want to also say thank you to the people of OTC for your continued support of our law enforcement officers. In a time where some in law enforcement do not feel the support of those that they serve, in OTC, our deputies are often reminded of the community support. I am very proud of the men and women of the Otter Tail County Sheriff’s Office,” said Fitzgibbons.

Fitzgibbons also pointed out that deputies go above and beyond their duties and are also involved in their communities. Deputies visit local classrooms, provide D.A.R.E education, host “Shop with a Cop” during the holidays and may be seen at national night out events and various parades in the county. Deputies also display vehicles at “Touch-a-Truck” events and the county fairs.

There are numerous opportunities for county residents to show their support, as well as opportunities to serve themselves. For instance, citizens who volunteer to assist the Otter Tail County Sheriff’s Posse. The current posse consists of horse-mounted, motorized units and foot patrol individuals. They provide security, crowd and traffic control, along with search and rescue services.

Another upcoming opportunity to show support is to sign up for the Special Olympics Polar Plunge on Otter Tail Lake on Feb. 5, which is being sponsored by Minn. law enforcement and the Otter Tail County Sheriff’s Office.

The Otter Tail County Sheriff’s Office mission is “to provide excellent service through partnerships that build trust, reduce crime, create a safe environment, and enhance the quality of life in our county.”

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