Daniel Schroeder of Oakville has been named Officer of the Year by the South County chapter of the St. Louis County Citizen’s Police Academy Alumni Association.
The chapter, which represents the St. Louis County Police Department’s Affton Southwest and South County precincts, made the announcement during an awards banquet Sunday at Genesis Banquet Center. Several local and state officials attended the event, including St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley, Sen. Jim Lembke (R), Rep. Marsha Haefner (R) and many others.
“I’m stunned—this was totally unexpected,” said Schroeder, who serves as a police officer for the South County Precinct.
Schroeder, who has more than 15 years of law enforcement experience, is credited with arresting several members of a Colombian drug cartel after responding to a call about a suspicious person trying to enter a house. He has been assigned to the South County Precinct for the last eight years.
Prior to presenting Schroeder with a congratulatory resolution from the House of Representatives, Haefner thanked the all of department’s officers for their hard work and dedication.
“A lot of what you do goes unnoticed,” Haefner said. “But without you, South County wouldn’t be the awesome, blessed place that it is. My heartfelt thanks goes out to you.”
Schroeder was one of eight officers nominated for the award. Other nominees included Sgt. Jeffrey Hoots and officers Kevin Helldoerfer and Michael Schira from the South County Precinct and officers Joseph Patterson, Aaron Roediger, Chuck Weinman and John Wilson from the Affton Precinct. The nominees each received a 2010 Officer of the Quarter award from their captains.
The alumni association’s Officer of the Year Banquet Committee was charged with choosing the winner, and Jean Larkin, the committee chairwoman, said it was no easy task. The committee based its decision on the reasons each nominee received the Officer of the Quarter award, personal biographies and individual interviews.
“It is an important responsibility, and one that we don’t take lightly,” she said. “Every officer is worthy of an award for the job that they do. We are justifiably proud to be served by you.”
In addition to several recognitions from local and state officials, Schroeder received a $1,500 check from the association, a three-night stay at the Lake of the Ozarks Red Oak Resort, a weekend stay at any Drury Hotel, a $175 Pasta House gift card and a one-year free pass for two from Wehrenberg Theater.
“I bet you didn’t get this much loot with that drug cartel,” said former state legislator John Hancock, who served as the event’s master of ceremonies. “I keep waiting for them (the alumni association) to bring the puppy out.”
The South County association consists of about 200 volunteers who have graduated from the department’s Citizen’s Police Academy. The group strives to improve the relationship and interaction between the department and the public and assists the department in various roles when needed. For more information on the association, visit the chapter’s website.