Various departments of law enforcement recognized by Optimist club

The Optimist club handed out their yearly Respect for Law Enforcement Awards Thursday.

Posted: Oct 1, 2020 7:03 PM
Updated: Oct 3, 2020 5:48 PM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) The four Optimist clubs of St. Joseph gave out awards highlighting nominated members of law enforcement in the community as a show of gratitude on Thursday.

Each year, the Optimist club honors local law enforcement representing various departments. 

Jeremy Peters, a St. Joseph police officer who recently served as a detective with the department received the award this year for his work involving sex offenders.

"This award means everything for me," Peters said, "This is the culmination of all the work we’ve put in over the last year."

Representing the Missouri State Highway Patrol this year was Trooper Robert Dudeck. Dudeck was recognized for his work as a peer counselor for his fellow troopers.

"It’s an honor to be selected by my supervisors to receive this award," Dudeck said. 

Optimist club members and their award recipients said they know the work of law enforcement is not easy.

"It’s difficult work," Peters said. "It can be taxing mentally as well with the kind of things that you’re subjected to."

The optimist club could not celebrate their award recipients the way they usually do this year due to the pandemic, organizers said it was important they do something no matter how small to show their gratitude.

"It’s a great honor for us to show respect to the officers in the St. Joseph community that are going out of their way every day," Keith Fattig, Optimist Club President said. 

In addition to Dudeck and Peters, two Buchanan County sheriff's deputies and a Missouri Western State University police officer were also awarded.

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