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15-year veteran named Minnesota Trooper of the Year

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Sgt. Eric Barthel, a 15-year veteran of the Minnesota State Patrol, has worn multiple hats throughout his career.

He's done everything from being in the field to training troopers. He currently serves as the technology coordinator, where he developed an e-learning system, according to the State Patrol. He also creates a curriculum, lesson plans, tests and handles all logistics, while instructing other troopers.

Which is why he was named Trooper of the Year for 2013 at an annual awards ceremony Monday night.

“What Sgt. Barthel does … is immensely important in advancing our technological skills and piloting change that positively impacts the State Patrol’s ability to serve the people of Minnesota,” Lt. Eric Roeske told the Star Tribune.

Barthel was one of the law enforcement officials and citizens honored at the ceremony for their heroic actions.

Barthel has taught active shooter classes to more than 500 employees and he provides road patrol services during poor weather conditions, according to the state patrol. He also helped the Iowa State Patrol implement its own e-learning system, the press release says.

Other officers awarded include officers that were involved in rescue efforts at a New Year's Day apartment explosion, a fatal mudslide at Lilydale Regional Park and a submerged vehicle carrying children in a St. Louis Park holding pond.

For a full list of award recipients, click here.

Check out more photos from the event:

Minneapolis State Patrol is also seeking the public's help to win a national photo contest sponsored by the American Association of State Troopers to select the best looking patrol car in the country.

Troopers are asking state residents to vote on one of three pictures, to help them decide which image gives them the best chance of winning.

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