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The Mandan Police Department held its first awards ceremony Friday afternoon, recognizing efforts made by officers in recent years. Shown above are Officer Tyler Henry, left, and Sgt. Jason Neuberger, center, who were presented the Medal of Merit award by Chief Jason Ziegler, right. The two officers were dispatched to a residence on a fire alarm call in July 2016 and rescued an elderly man who had been overcome by smoke. Ziegler said the awards ceremony will be held annually.

Two Mandan police officers have been recognized for rescuing a man from a burning building.

Sgt. Jason Neuberger and Officer Tyler Henry received the department’s Medal of Merit at a ceremony Friday. The honors were among several presented to seven police officers and one civilian during an awards ceremony in the Mandan Commission Room.

Neuberger and Henry were the first to arrive at a house fire in July 2016. They entered despite heavy smoke and located an elderly man by listening for the sound of his voice. The man was overcome by smoke, and the two dragged him to safety. He was taken to a local hospital and recovered.

Chief Jason Ziegler told the men in a letter that they went above and beyond what is expected of police officers, and their effort “brings great credit upon themselves, Mandan Police Department and law enforcement officers everywhere.”

In addition to the medal, Neuberger and Henry received a ribbon for their uniform and a certificate.

Other awards presented during the ceremony included:

Chief’s Award to Lt. Christopher Miller. In addition to his police work, Miller handles information technology work for the department and the city. “Lt. Miller is willing to work all hours of the day and night” to make sure services are up and running, Ziegler said.

Chief’s Award to Calvin Bullinger. Bullinger is a longtime employee of the department who “often takes up tasks belonging to others and completes them without being asked,” Ziegler said.

Life Saving Award and Letter of Recognition to Officer Riley Gentzkow. His CPR efforts helped save a woman who had no pulse in January 2017. The Letter of Recognition is for Gentzkow’s actions at a crime scene where shots had been fired in December 2017. 

Letter of Recognition to Officer Leo Belgarde, for his work in calming a victim of domestic violence during an incident in which shots had been fired in 2017.

Letter of Recognition to Officer Brent Brandner, for his efforts in January 2017 in finding the cause of a woman’s medical emergency and administering Narcan.

Letter of Recognition to Officer Jessica Kraft for her efforts during a 2017 domestic violence incident involving shots fired. Kraft administered first aid to a victim until more assistance arrived.

This is the first awards program the department has held in many years, according to Deputy Chief Lori Flaten. The department plans to make it an annual event, she said.

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(Reach Travis Svihovec at 701-250-8260 or Travis.Svihovec@bismarcktribune.com)

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