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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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Dangerous heat will move into the area today with highs reaching the upper 90s to triple digits. Heat index values will likely be between 100-106. Use caution when spending time outside this afternoon. Hot and humid conditions will continue on Friday with highs back in the upper 90s and lower 100s with heat index values reaching triple digits. A cold front will move through the area Friday afternoon into the evening bringing the chance for a few showers and thunderstorms. Scattered rain chances will continue through the weekend with highs in the lower 90s. Highs in the 80s will return for the beginning of next week.
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