A job well done in Lakeville

Lakeville police Det. Dave Watson was presented the American Legion Post 44 Law Officer of the Year award at June 5 City Council meeting. Watson was chosen as the American Legion’s Law Officer of the Year for the state of Minnesota. Police Chief Jeff Long said the department nominated Watson based on his credentials. Hired in 1993 by then Lakeville Police Chief Don Gudmundson, Watson was promoted to detective in 1999. Long said Watson also serves as a certified fire investigator, is a U.S. Army veteran and is active in many professional organizations, including serving as president of the Tri-County Law Enforcement Association. Long noted Watson has received more than 100 commendations and awards, most of which have come from the FBI, U.S. Postal Inspectors Office and the U.S. Department of Treasury. Watson has received an international commendation by the Narcotic Enforcement Officers Association and an award recognizing his teamwork with the International Association of Arson Investigators. Watson was injured and on leave for six months after capturing a dangerous fugitive, for which he received awards from the Military Order of the Purple Heart and the United States Police Hall of Fame. Long said Watson has also received many thank-you letters over the years, including one thanking him for reuniting a family. “I am privileged to work in such a noble profession and with people like Detective Watson that are dedicated to serving our community,” Long said. American Legion Post 44 Cmdr. Steve Sandberg and Vice Cmdr. Steve Buck presented Watson the award, after which Watson received a standing ovation. Council members expressed appreciation and pride in Watson’s accomplishments and the work of the department. “Thank you for making our city so proud,” Council Member Colleen LaBeau said. “We’re proud of you. Thank you very much for your service.” Photo by Laura Adelmann