Retired Meeker County Sheriff’s Reserve Deputy Dean Schmitz received the Minnesota Sheriff’s Association (MSA) Volunteer of the Year Award on December 10, 2018 (see photos below). The following is the nomination letter that was provided to the MSA:
Meeker County Sheriff’s Reserve Deputy Dean Schmitz has been a dedicated volunteer member of our community since the 1970’s when he began his law enforcement service to the citizens of Dassel as a volunteer for the Dassel Police Department. When the Dassel Police Department disbanded, he came to the Meeker County Sheriff’s Office ready to serve. Reserve Schmitz has served with the Meeker County Sheriff’s Office for the past 13 years, retiring this past summer due to medical reasons.
Reserve Deputy Schmitz always went above and beyond the call of duty and has an extreme devotion to public service. He was always willing to work rain or shine, day or night. Since joining the Meeker County Sheriff’s Office, Reserve Schmitz has consistently volunteered hundreds of hours every year. In 2007 he received the Reserve Deputy of the year award from the MN Police Reserve Officer Association for volunteering over 700 hours in 2006. In 2010 Reserve Deputy Schmitz received a letter of Commendation for helping a citizen with a medical situation while volunteering at a demolition derby at the county fair. In 2011 Reserve Deputy Schmitz received the Meeker County Sheriff’s Office Sheriff’s Achievement award for all his hard work including his response to a storm that caused significant damage in the county.
Even when some of the events were paid events, Reserve Deputy Schmitz refused the pay and just volunteered his time. He has been called to help at the last minute and will drop everything he’s doing to come in and help out. Reserve Deputy Schmitz has helped with everything from fingerprinting kids at elementary schools to traffic control, to bike rodeos, security checks, providing security at large scale events and the list could go on and on.
Through the years not only has Reserve Deputy Schmitz volunteered with the Meeker County Sheriff’s Office but he also volunteered with his local church by serving food at a homeless shelter in Minneapolis once a month. Even though he is retired, he still wants to help. Just a couple weeks ago, he saw one of our Sergeants loading items into her squad for a presentation so he immediately wanted to jump in and help, even though he is “retired.”
Reserve Deputy Schmitz has dedicated his life to helping law enforcement and always put the needs of the citizens of Meeker County before his own. Volunteers as dedicated as Reserve Deputy Schmitz are a rare find and are greatly missed when they retire. Reserved Deputy Schmitz deserves the Sheriff’s Volunteer of the Year Award in recognition of his dedication and efforts throughout the years.