The Redwood Falls Police Department has created new awards to recognize officers and citizens who take risks to help others, or just go out of their way to serve the community.

Sometimes police officers or area citizens take risks to help others, or just go out of their way to serve the community.
When an especially noteworthy example happens, the Redwood Falls Police Department thinks those officers or citizens should be recognized.
With that in mind, the Redwood Falls City Council authorized the police department to create a new series of local awards.
Police Chief Mark Dressen said four types of award will be created:
• Award of Valor: for police officers who do their duty “despite the immediate threat of great bodily harm or death to themselves or others.”
• Award of Excellence: to be presented to officers who perform their duty to the highest standards “for actions in the field requiring immediate action, or which required an extended period of time to achieve.”
• Chief’s Commendation Award: presented to officers who “provide a service that is carried out in a superior manner”, such as lifesaving efforts, or community service.
• Outstanding Citizen Award: to be presented to “citizens who significantly assis or support the efforts of the Redwood Falls Police Department to achieve its mission.”
If you know of an officer or citizen who you believe should get special recognition, nomination forms are now available from the police department, city hall, or the city's website.
In other city news, the council:
• Approved a police department request to begin searching for funding for the upcoming Minnesota Law Enforcement Memorial Association 31st annual Ecumenical Services.
The annual event is held in a different town in Minnesota every year to remember the 267 law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty since 1874.
Redwood Falls will host the next service at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church on May 5, 2013, and the police department will be asking for up to $3,000 in donations to help pay for expenses.
• Approved the hiring of Winston Venable as the new Redwood Falls airport manager, starting Jan. 1, 2013.
Venable is currently head of the city’s streets department, so the new position would be a lateral transfer within the city.
• Approved a 2013-14 pay plan for non-union employees, reflecting an overall increase of three percent to all grades and steps in 2013, and an additional two percent in 2014.
• Approved an amount “not to exceed $15,000” to pay for a study to possibly redevelop an area of county road 101 and adjacent properties.
• Approved resolutions setting new water, sanitary sewer, and storm sewer rates for 2013.
• Approved a $13,849 purchase of a new solid-state soft starter for the pumps at the water treatment plant. The new pumps would get water moving though the pipes at a more gradual rate, reducing stress on the pipe fittings.