The Washington Police Department 2021 Annual Report was presented during the March 15 City Council meeting.
While the report outlined the hundreds of hours of training and statistical data related to the department’s work in 2021, the highlight of the report was Chief Lester’s announcements of the 2021 Officer of the Year and the awarding of two Certificates of Commendation.
Officer of the Year: Sergeant Benjamin Altenhofen
The Washington Police Department is proud to announce that Sergeant Benjamin Altenhofen has been recognized as the department’s Officer of the Year for 2021.
Sergeant Altenhofen has been a member of the Washington Police Department since December 2015. He is an ILEA certified Defensive Tactics Instructor, Field Training Officer and an A.L.I.C.E. Instructor. He was promoted to the rank of Sergeant in 2020.
Sergeant Altenhofen has specialized training in evidence and property management and since the transition to our new facility in the fall of 2020 has been responsible for the behind-the-scenes organization and development of our seized and recovered evidence and property management program.
This work has included the inventory, categorizing, review and auditing of over 400 items currently in our custody. In addition, Sergeant Altenhofen coordinates with the County Attorney’s Office to provide for the timely return and/or destruction of evidence or property after the final disposition of criminal cases. Sgt. Altenhofen’s supervision and dedication in the development and organization of the department’s evidence procedures is vital in the successful prosecution of criminal cases.
Commendations: Officer Ethan Hansen & Sergeant Benjamin Altenhofen
In the early morning hours of January 4, 2021, while working the over-night shift, Sergeant Benjamin Altenhofen and Officer Ethan Hansen responded to a home explosion. Upon arrival, officers found an occupied residence had been destroyed by an explosion and areas of the home were on fire.
The officers, with assistance of bystanders, provided aid to an injured teenager and without regard for their own safety, worked to locate and rescue a victim trapped in the rubble, and assisted in getting the victim to waiting paramedics to provide care and transport for life-threatening injuries.
Sgt. Altenhofen and Officer Hansen are commended for their quick action and care provided to the victims of this tragic event.Their swift and professional actions, in this dangerous situation, demonstrate their distinct pattern of community service and valor.
Citizens Receive Friend of Public Safety Award
Washington Mayor Jaron Rosien along with Fire Chief Brendan DeLong and Chief of Police Jim Lester presented five members of the community with a Friend of Public Safety Award for their meritorious service for their demonstration of initiative and courage in a dangerous situation in assisting police officers and firefighters in rescuing and providing aid to the victims of a house explosion on January 4, 2021.
Those honored during the Tuesday, March 15 City Council meeting were Angie Bodkin, Faunne McCracken, Debbie Roberts, Chad Zear and Michelle Zear.
Picture below: Citizens Awards received by Chad and Michelle Zear. Picture provided by Southeast Iowa Union.