On Sunday, a 31-year veteran of the St. Paul Police Dept. was named Minnesota's 2015 Police Officer of the Year at the annual convention of the Minnesota Police and Peace Officers at the Arrowwood Resort in Alexandria.
KARE 11 reports that Sgt. Mark Ficcadenti is currently the Patrol Supervisor in the city's Western District. He was awarded the distinction because of his work in community outreach.
Ficcadenti has mentored younger officers, and has done extensive work with teen refugees from East and West Africa. Last year, he launched the East African Junior Police Academy to introduce young men and women ages 14 to 22 to public safety professions. The program attracted about 15 students in 2014 and more than 30 this year.
The Pioneer Press noted that another St. Paul police officer and a Minnesota state trooper were also recognized. Officer Mark Ross, a former school resource officer turned patrol officer, was acknowledged for his investigation of a child prostitution case. Trooper Brian Beuning was honored for rescuing a woman from her flooded car seconds before it was swept away. The incident happened during flash flooding in Rock County in June of 2014.