Wednesday, July 17th, 2024 Church Directory
Olson and NeumanN receive commendations. Back Row - Council Members Paul Seefeld and Ken Halverson, Mayor Paul Knier, Council Members Sam Hanson and Kim Noding. Front Row – Police Chief John Kaczmarek, Captain Sam Olson and Co-responder Roy Neumann. (Patriot Photo by Don Bellach).
Officer Julie Hawkins was sworn-in by Big Lake Mayor Paul Knier. (Patriot Photo by Don Bellach)
Officer Julie Hawkins (third from right) is surrounded by her family and supporters following her swearing-in ceremony. (Left to right): Brother Corey, Grandpa Bob, Grandma Barb, Mother Becky, Officer Julie Hawkins, Brother Justin, and father John posed for a picture. (Patriot Photo by Don Bellach)

BLPD the focus of the council

Big Lake Police Department was on hand Tues., June 25, and the first order of buisness was the hiring of Officer Julie Hawkins.  

For Hawkins, it was a family affair.  In addition to the many officers who were present, Hawkins’ family was present – Grandma Barb, Grandpa Bob, Mother Becky and father John, and her two brothers Corey and Justin.  Mayor Paul Knier administered the Oath of Office and Hawkins’ mother, Becky Nielsen, had the honor of pinning on her badge.   

Hawkins had previously worked for the Plymouth Police Dept. as a Police Cadet and Community Service Officer.  She also has volunteered with the Wright County Sheriff’s Office as a Police Reserve Officer and according to Police Chief Kaczmarek, will make a great member of the team. 

Recognition and Awards

Chief Kaczmarek awarded Captain Sam Olson the Life Saving Award and Co-responder Roy Neumann with the Chief’s Letter of Recommendation Award.  

In the winter of 2024, Olson and Neumann responded to a welfare check.  A family member reported that someone was experiencing a mental health emergency and was refusing medical attention.  Olson and Neumann attempted to deescalate the situation.  At one point in the intervention, Olson determined that the person needed immediate medical attention and acted accordingly, offering medical assistance. Upon regaining consciousness, the individual was transported to an area hospital. 

According to Neumann, since the co-responder program was launched in 2021 through Central Minnesota Mental Health Center, 200 clients who have needed mental health assistance and resources have been served through the Co-responder program and the BLPD. 

Lake Liquor Parking

Municipal Liquor Store Manager Greg Zurbey informed the council of the upcoming work to be done to the parking lot of the liquor store.  Work will begin on July 15 and should take four days to complete if the weather permits.  Signage will be posted and updates will be given on the stores Facebook site. 

Other Business

The Big Lake Economic Development Authority requested a resolution, which was approved, to change the time that they meet from 6 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. on the second Monday of the month.