MINNEAPOLIS - New Ulm Police Chief Erv Weinkauf received a state award Saturday at the Department of Minnesota Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) annual Mid-Winter Conference.
Weinkauf received the J. Edgar Hoover Gold Medal Award given for duty knowledge and performance under the law; human rights dedication; integrity, honor, compassion and devotion to public service.
"It was totally unexpected," said Weinkauf. "I've nominated people from our department for awards, but to have it happen to me is something I'm not used to. It's something very special to me that I'll remember for a long, long time."
Veterans of Foreign Wars State Commander Stan Kowalski, (left) and VFW State Safety Chairman Frank Presfield (right) present the J. Edgar Hoover Gold Medal Award to New Ulm Police Chief Erv Weinkauf Saturday, Jan. 17 in St. Paul during the organization’s mid-winter conference.
Weinkauf said he found it humbling to think about the fact there are more than 11,000 men and women in law enforcement that work daily to protect citizens.
His nomination will be reviewed in national level award competition for the honor that includes municipal police officers, county sheriffs and deputy sheriffs, highway patrolmen, Secret Service personnel, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) officer and Treasury Department officers including Secret Service Agents.
A former Minnesota National Guard member, Weinkauf drilled in New Ulm and served with the airborne military police in Germany for 18 months in 1970-71.
He will wear a uniform for more than 40 years including military and civilian law enforcement service before retiring from the New Ulm Police Department on Jan. 31. A member of the Region 6 ESGR (Employer Support of the Guard & Reserve), Weinkauf said it's important to support military members while they're overseas and when they come home.
"Some of them have been through some very traumatic situations. Some lost limbs and others gave the ultimate sacrifice," said Weinkauf. "The military has always been important to me."
Last year, Weinkauf nominated New Ulm Police Commander Myron Wieland who received the state J. Edgar Hoover Gold Medal Award from the VFW and the Outstanding Law Enforcement Officer award from the Minnesota American Legion.
Several years ago, New Ulm Police Department Investigator Dave Borchert received the state J. Edgar Hoover Gold Medal Award.
Weinkauf - who will continue teaching law enforcement courses for several Minnesota colleges and universities after retiring from public service -said he's proud of the people he worked with.
"I'll miss the people. I think I left our department in good shape and wish my successor well," Weinkauf said.
(Fritz Busch can be e-mailed at email@example.com).