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Posted on: April 6, 2023

Cedar Falls Public Safety Announces 2022 Service Awards

Photo of award winners standing together

Cedar Falls Public Safety has announced its 2022 service awards, recognizing team members who displayed exceptional achievement within the department over the past year. A ceremony was held at the Public Safety Center, located at 4600 South Main Street, on April 5 to commemorate the event.

Awards included the Cedar Falls Police Officer of the Year, Firefighter of the Year, the RJ Voss Police Supervisor of the Year, Fire Supervisor of the Year, and the Scott Sterrett Reserve Police Officer of the Year.

Public Safety Director Craig Berte, Acting Fire Chief John Zolondek, Police Chief Mark Howard, and City Administrator Ron Gaines were all in attendance with Cedar Falls Mayor Rob Green providing closing remarks during the event.

"These individuals have continued to display selfless dedication and a commitment to serving the community no matter the circumstance or challenge," said Director Berte. "We thank this year's honorees as well as the entire Public Safety team for all they do for Cedar Falls."

Cedar Falls Public Safety 2022 Award Recipients

*Excerpts taken from their nomination letters, submitted by department supervisors

Police Officer of the Year: Branden Madsen

"Investigator Madsen has been involved in several high-profile cases and has worked with other agencies for multi-jurisdictional crimes. He has helped with a multi-agency effort organized by the U.S. Marshall Office which used resources from local police agencies along with the Iowa DCI, Iowa DNE, FBI, and ATF. This effort led to outstanding warrant arrests of several subjects. He is a certified instructor in chemical munitions and an active member of SWAT for the police division. Investigator Madsen has continued to enhance his skills through interview and interrogation courses, advanced criminal investigation courses, and courses on leadership sponsored by FBI-LEEDA."

Firefighter of the Year: Maxton Ross

"Maxton Ross strives to grow his knowledge to better serve the Public Safety Department. He has volunteered to act as the lead in HazMat responses which requires specialized training and he is certified in Firefighter 2 and Fire Instructor 1. Every member of his shift recognizes that he is a true asset to the team and is proud of his commitment, hard work, and positive attitude."

RJ Voss Supervisor of the Year: Dennis O'Neill

"Lt. O'Neill and his team are a great resource for patrol operations and shift officers acknowledge his leadership and responsiveness to assist during significant events. He has taught many public education events involving the response to active shooters and numerous businesses, churches, schools, and civic organizations have received a high level of training from Lt. O'Neill. His ability to lead by example and work ethic is exhibited by his investigative team’s willingness to assist shifts, high-quality work, and high case clearance.” 

Fire Supervisor of the Year: Shea McNamara

"Captain McNamara is currently one of the primary fire instructors and in 2022 he coordinated the delivery of the MOBAT and Burn Trailer for training from the Fire Service Training Bureau. He coordinates confined space and technical rescue training, rope rescue training, four-gas monitor systems and hose testing. His proficiency in performing his duties shows his professionalism and dedication to performing at the highest level."

Scott Sterrett Reserve Officer of the Year: Adam Spray

"Reserve Officer Spray has served for more than eight years and is a very motivated, knowledgeable, and reliable member of the Reserve Unit. He is quick to volunteer for assignments - in 2022 he worked the highest amount of hours in the reserve component."

Awards of Excellence

  • Lieutenant Kari Rea
  • Lieutenant Carson Barron
  • Investigator Adam Hancock
  • Investigator Brooke Helgeson
  • Officer Liesel Reimers
  • Officer Austin Lechtenberg
  • Officer Morgan Hoeft
  • Officer Kaleb Bruggeman
  • Officer Marissa Abbott
  • Officer Kendall Schwan
  • Lieutenant Zach Ladage
  • Firefighter Tommy Baltes
  • Firefighter Sam Shafer
  • Cedar Falls Fleet Maintenance Supervisor Dustin Rawdon
  • Cedar Falls Operations and Maintenance Division Manager Brian Heath

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