MPD officers recognized
The Merrill Police Department conducted a badge-pinning ceremony on Monday, March 4, for the newest officer to join the force, Eric Soberg. In combination with the badge-pinning ceremony, several officers received recognition under a variety of categories in, what is anticipated to be, an annual event.
The ceremonious badge-pinning served as a welcome to Officer Soberg, who began his law enforcement career with the Merrill Police Department on Feb. 11, 2013. Soberg comes from Plymouth, WI having recently graduated with a Criminal Justice degree from Lakeshore Technical College. Eric’s father and grandfather both served their communities as police officers.
Immediately following the badge-pinning, several Merrill Police Officers were recognized for their actions in response to incidents and for contributions to the citizens of Merrill.
Officer Kurt Perra was given an Award of Merit for outstanding accomplishment where he went beyond the requirements of his normal assignment with his actions in an investigation of some found cash. In December 2011, Officer Perra became curious about an individual seen picking something up in the street. It was later determined that someone had lost over $1,000 in cash and Officer Perra was able to unite the person with the lost cash because of his initiative and recognition of an unusual situation.
Officer Josh McCaskill was given the Police Star Award recognizing him for bravery and performing with exceptional judgment, and for utilizing skillful tactics in order to defuse a dangerous and stressful situation. In October 2012, Officer McCaskill and others were dispatched to a residence where it was reported that a person was going to kill themselves with the use of alcohol and drugs. Officer McCaskill arrived first and quickly recognized that the individual was in possession of a weapon. He reacted calmly and quickly, disarming the individual, preventing what could have easily resulted in serious consequences for officers and/or the subject.
Officers Josh McCaskill, Matt Waid, and Robert Caylor were recipients of the Meritorious Service Award given to them for distinctive accomplishments under adverse conditions with some degree of hazard to their safety. In November 2012, these three officers were involved in a traffic stop that ultimately resulted in a significant drug related investigation, illegal drug seizures and arrests. The significant results were directly related to their exemplary actions.
Lt. Greg Hartwig and Officer Jamie Jaeger both received a Community Service Award for their service in the promotion of a positive community relationship and for extraordinary and continuous service to our community. Lt. Hartwig is heavily involved in organizing the Merrill Police Association fund-raising effort resulting in the financial support of numerous organizations and events in the area. Officer Jaeger is extraordinary in her willingness to take on numerous community events and programs including D.A.R.E., School Safety Patrol, bicycle safety, and child passenger safety.
Investigator Patrick Wunsch was recognized with the Investigator of the Year Award because of the way he exemplifies the Merrill Police Department Mission, Vision, and goals, including his exceptional work ethic, expertise and integrity, superior ability to interact with the public during investigations, and interagency cooperation that helps to ensure the successful prosecution of criminals.