Edina, Minn., May 17, 2022 – Community Engagement Officer Emily Jepson has been named the 2021 Mike Siitari Officer of the Year, an award given by the Edina Crime Prevention Fund. Jepson was recognized at the May 17 Edina City Council meeting.
A former Community Service Officer, Jepson joined the Edina Police Department in 2014 and was promoted to Police Officer one year later. This spring, Jepson was elevated to the newly created position of Community Engagement Officer. Her work impacting the community and the department on mental health issues and employee wellness were spotlighted in her nomination for the award.
One colleague commented, “At a time when it’s more important than ever to engage our community and foster positive relationships, Emily has represented herself and the Edina Police Department in a very professional and positive manner.”
“Officer Jepson is a creative thinker who strives to engage the community she serves in ways that build trust and confidence,” said Police Chief Todd Milburn. “She is very well deserving of this honor, and I am proud of her accomplishments.”
Jepson has been deeply involved in the integration of an embedded social worker within the department, ensuring that the mental health needs of the community are met. Oftentimes, Jepson will ask social worker Donna Nelson to accompany her on scene for mental health-related calls for service.
Inside the station, Jepson is a leader for internal resources available to officers and staff. She is a member of the department’s Peer Support Team, which is dedicated to the wellness of officers and staff during difficult personal or work-related incidents. She has also taken the lead as an expert in the City’s Employee Assistance Program, which provides counseling and other resources to employees.
“People look at me funny when I say that copping is the best job in the world, especially in 2022,” Jepson said to the Council Chambers audience, including many of her fellow officers. “I am privileged to be invited into residents’ homes, witness incredible vulnerability, bravery and care. I get to do something new every day and sometimes, I feel like I make a difference. I am humbled to serve alongside these men and women, and I strive to earn my place among them.”
Jepson is a graduate of the University of Minnesota with a degree in Global Studies and received her Law Enforcement Certificate from Metropolitan State University.
The Mike Siitari Officer of the Year award is given annually to an officer of the Edina Police Department who has modeled exemplary service and leadership through innovation and public relations.
The Crime Prevention Fund has recognized at least one officer a year since 2011. The Officer of the Year Award is named after Mike Siitari, who served as Police Chief from 1999 to 2009 during his 31-year tenure with the Edina Police Department. Winners are selected by members of the Edina Crime Prevention Fund.
Past recipients of the award who still work for the Edina Police Department include Sgt. Jacob Heckert and Officers Darren Davis, Dave Lindman, Joel Moore, Nick Pedersen and Mike Seeger.
For more information about the award, visit the Edina Crime Prevention Fund’s website, edinacrimepreventionfund.org.