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Posts in Category: Transit Police

Light Rail METRO Blue Line Minneapolis Transit Police

Partners share Metro Transit Police Department's Officer of the Year honors  

Posted by Laura Baenen | Tuesday, July 02, 2019 4:14:00 PM

MTPD Officers of the Year Michael Affeldt (left) and Joe Carchedi

As partners, police officers Michael Affeldt and Joseph Carchedi spend so much time together their peers refer to them jointly as “Affeldt and Carchedi.”

And now they share something in addition to a name and a beat. Affeldt and Carchedi were recognized as Metro Transit’s officers of the year at the department’s annual awards ceremony, held on Friday, June 28.

The officers were celebrated for proactively policing some of the transit system’s busiest areas, including the METRO Blue Line’s Lake Street and Franklin Avenue stations and the Brooklyn Center Transit Center.  

Sgt. Bret Fraser, who recommended them for the award, said the officers have shown “compassion, understanding and reasonability of true beat officers.”

The officers were also credited with using video surveillance to disrupt crimes in progress, leading effective narcotics investigations and participating in a youth baseball program, Badges and Baseball.

Affeldt joined the department in 2014, serving initially as a Community Service Officer. Carchedi joined the department in 2015.

Several other officers were recognized at the awards ceremony, including:  

  • Officer Chad W. Loeffler, who received the department’s Tim Bowe Award. The award is presented annually to an officer who works part time for Metro Transit. Loeffler is a K9 officer for the Lakeville Police Department and has worked part-time for Metro Transit since 2002.
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  • Lt. Mike Johnson, who was named the Supervisor of the Year. Johnson helped Metro Transit prepare for the 2018 Super Bowl and the 2019 NCAA Men’s Final Four.
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  • Officer Chris Miles, who received a Medal of Merit for successfully getting a distraught man to drop a knife, and a Certificate of Appreciation for identifying a suspect accused of causing tens of thousands of dollars in property damage with graffiti.
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  • Officer Cleven Duncan, who received a Certificate of Appreciation for recording a message from a jailed suspect to his mother, who was approaching death at the hospital.
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  • Officer Andrew Carlson, who received a Certificate of Appreciation for helping a homeless man locate a low-cost apartment.
Transit Police

Gratitude motivates new Metro Transit police officers 

Posted by John Komarek | Tuesday, June 25, 2019 12:37:00 PM

Eight years to the day after a bullet tore through his left triceps in a close firefight with Taliban militants in Afghanistan, Chang Lee was sworn-in as one of the Metro Transit Police Department’s newest police officers.

Seven other men and seven women were also sworn in before family, friends and fellow officers on Thursday, June 20. With the additional officers, the Metro Transit Police Department has around 140 full-time officers and more than 50 part-time officers.

After his injury, Lee spent a year in physical therapy at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center working to regain use of his left arm and hand.

Even so, he didn’t hesitate to take another oath to serve. Lee said he wants to repay a debt of gratitude on behalf of his parents, who were born in Laos and eventually made their way to Minnesota.

“The United States gave my parents an opportunity to have a good life and to live in freedom,” he said.

New MTPD Officer Chang Lee takes his oath to serve
Chang Lee (far right) is sworn in alongside his colleagues.

Public service also runs in the family. A cousin is a Roseville police officer. That cousin allowed Lee to ride along with him after returning from Afghanistan, sparking an interest in law enforcement. An uncle, Fue Vang, is a train operator and his stepfather, Soua Moua, is a bus operator.

Gratitude motivated new officer Samuel Klimmek, too. A St. Paul couple adopted him and his twin brother, who are from Hong Kong. Klimmek’s twin brother is a Minneapolis police officer; both are veterans.

“They (our adoptive parents) taught us that you have to give back to the country that’s given us so much,” Klimmek said.

Other new officers were motivated by positive experiences with law enforcement during their childhood. One said police helped arrange custody transfers when her parents separated; another said they were influenced by an officer they met through the DARE program.

Alexandra Wagner thought she’d study fashion design or law until she joined the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Department’s Explorers’ program, which provides youth a chance to learn about law enforcement through volunteer service.

Wagner is now working on a master’s degree in clinical social work, focusing on treating Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and ways departments can better handle mental health issues.

The other new police officers are: Sarah Baker, Lisa Bistodeau, Sarah Boltz, Brooklyn Carroll, Peter Fry, Alexis Junker, Tyler Lo, Hela Maurer, Liam Pham, Daniel Swenson, Toua Vang, and Brett Volkmann.

In addition to English, the 15 new recruits know American Sign Language, Amharic (which is spoken in Ethiopia), French, Hmong, Korean and Vietnamese. Three of the new recruits previously served as Metro Transit community service officers.

Before being sworn in, the recruits completed the department’s custom, nine-week academy. They will now spend another four months working alongside field training officers.

Metro Transit police officers primarily focus on patrolling the transit network but respond to calls for service throughout the seven-county region.

Metro Transit Police Department Swearing In Ceremony June 20, 2019

 

 

Safety Transit Police

New transit police officers speak many languages, share desire to be role models 

Posted by Laura Baenen | Friday, December 21, 2018 11:15:00 AM

Growing up in Cambodia, Soonem Teng’s family fled their home several times to escape raids by the Khmer Rouge.

That experience helped point Teng toward a career in law enforcement. On Thursday, he was among 16 new officers sworn in by the Metro Transit Police Department. 

“As a kid, I always wanted someone to step up and help,” Teng said. “Now I want to be that person for others.”

Teng’s experience was not uncommon among his peers. Several of the department’s new officers grew up during warfare in faraway lands, became refugees and were befriended at some point by police officers.

In addition to Teng, who speaks Cambodian, the new group includes officers who speak Burmese, Chinese, Somali, Spanish, American Sign Language and Igbo, a West African language.

Ahmed Dualeh was born in Somalia while the country was in the throes of a civil war, an experience that led him to see police as peace keepers. Dualeh’s outlook has also been formed by his time at a Ramsey County Corrections Officer.

As a police officer, he hopes to be a positive force before troubles mount. “I can talk to younger people and help them by being a role model,” he said.

The prospect of becoming a role model also appeals to Peter Wameng Yang, who is fluent in Hmong. “Becoming a role model to the Hmong population and teaching the community about the Hmong culture is a goal I set many years ago,” he said. “I am getting a step closer.”

The new group of officers also includes former security guards, volunteer police reservists, military veterans and Community Service Officers.

The department gained its first sibling duo, too. Kevin McCabe’s older brother, Pat McCabe, has been with the department since 2014.

With the additional officers, the Metro Transit Police Department now has 101 full-time officers and 59 part-time officers. The new group was brought in partly to support the C Line, a Bus Rapid Transit service replacing Route 19 in 2019.

Before Thursday’s swearing in ceremony, the recruits completed the department’s custom, 10-week academy and spent another four months working alongside field training officers.

Metro Transit police officers can respond to calls from throughout the seven-county region but primarily focus on patrolling the transit network.

 

Metro Transit Police Department Swearing in Ceremony

Transit Police

Rest in Peace, Rusty 

Posted by John Komarek | Wednesday, September 26, 2018 12:00:00 PM


Rusty with his partner of six years, Officer Scharber.  

Working in the K-9 Unit at Metro Transit Police Department has its benefits.

“It’s just the bond you create – you can’t find that with a regular officer,” K-9 Officer Joshua Scharber said.

But, after years of working together and building strong bonds, this service can also be bittersweet.

Right before Christmas in 2012, a chocolate lab named Rusty met his partner, Officer Scharber, for the very first time. "I became immediately attached." Scharber said. "We're both gentle giants, so we understood each other."

On Monday, Sept. 24, 2018, Scharber received the sad news that he would need to say goodbye to his longtime partner and friend.

Rusty was diagnosed with an advanced disease that was attacking his kidneys. The prognosis was that any procedure would simply delay the inevitable.

Rusty's work included explosive detection, but where he shined the most was working with kids.

“We'd take him to schools, and ten different sets of hands would surround him," Scharber said. "He didn't flinch. In fact, you could tell he loved the attention."

Rusty's ashes will stay with Officer Scharber, sitting in an urn on his mantle.

"He was a good dog." Scharber said. "He was a handler's dream."


Thank you to K-9 Rusty for your service to Metro Transit

Awards Light Rail Safety Transit Police

Super Bowl Security efforts gain national acclaim 

| Tuesday, June 12, 2018 2:20:00 PM

U.S. Bank Stadium Station, shortly before Super Bowl LII.Efforts to safely transport thousands of Super Bowl fans were recognized last week by the American Public Transportation Association.

APTA presented Metro Transit with a Gold Award for Rail Security on Sunday during an awards ceremony in Denver, Colo. The awards were part of APTA’s International Rail Rodeo activities.

The award reflects the extraordinary efforts Metro Transit put forward on gameday and during more than a week of pre-game festivities.

To maintain a secure perimeter while still allowing fans to take light rail to U.S. Bank Stadium, ticket holders who took light rail on gameday were pre-screened at light rail stations – a first for the event.

Metro Transit also played a key role in event preparations, hosting table top drills and exercises and coordinating with more than 75 law enforcement agencies.  

The preparations helped Metro Transit overcome multiple last-minute challenges, including snow, system and light rail vehicle failures and a civil disruption on the Green Line.

More than 210,000 additional rides were taken over more than a week's worth of Super Bowl events, leading the Green and Blue lines and the Northstar Commuter Rail Line to their highest-ever January ridership totals.

The award comes just weeks after APTA presented Metro Transit with a Certificate of Merit at its Bus Safety & Security Awards. The award recognized efforts to improve safety through repeated and enhanced operator training.

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