Edina, Minn., April 24, 2019 – Edina Police Detective Joel Moore was named Investigator of the Year by the Tri-County Law Enforcement Association. He accepted the award at the Association’s Annual Member Gathering April 18 in St. Paul.
“I am obviously very honored and proud to receive this award. Last year was a very busy year for me and the Police Department. I think investigators don’t earn these types awards without having a lot of support,” said Moore. “I am thankful for all the support I received during these investigations. Patrol, dispatch, supervisors, upper administration and support staff all played a part in the success of these investigations. I also received support from many other agencies.”
“Joel being recognized for his efforts is an outstanding moment for the entire Edina Investigative Division. Joel is the first to say the success of our Division is because we work as one unit,” added Lt. Tim Olson, who oversees the Investigative Division.
Last January, Moore began work on a murder case that crossed state lines and received nation-wide attention. Edina resident Christina Prodan was reported missing Jan. 7 by her mother. After spending hundreds of hours on the case, on March 30, Moore interviewed Prodan’s boyfriend, Joseph Porter, in Little Rock, Arkansas, where he confessed to killing Prodan. On Jan. 15, 2019, Porter was sentenced to more than 21 years in prison. Moore led the investigation and coordinated efforts with the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Little Rock and New Orleans police departments.
“This case was extremely complex and required a high level of investigative acumen and drive,” wrote Sgt. Nate Mendel in the letter nominating Moore for the award. “Detective Moore did an excellent job coordinating all the pieces to lead to justice for a grieving mother.”
Last April, Moore was assigned a suspected third-degree murder investigation, where the victim died from an overdose of drugs that included heroin, fentanyl and methamphetamine. Coordinating efforts with the Southwest Hennepin County Drug Task Force, Moore was able to track down the dealer who was transporting large amounts of heroin from Grand Rapids, Michigan, to the Twin Cities and arrest him. He was convicted of third-degree murder and is currently serving his sentence.
Last July, Moore began work investigating a take-over style robbery at the York Avenue Walgreens. The suspects, armed with handguns, forced store employees to the back of the store where they were tied up. The suspects proceeded to steal large amounts of narcotics. Moore determined the robbery was connected to two others in St. Paul and was able to track down all of the suspects involved in this case and have them arrested. The suspects lived in Indianapolis and were committing similar crimes around the country.
“Detective Moore’s work on this case made it possible for a successful resolution,” said Mendel.
“Joel is a unique detective. His ability to combine the old school gumshoe mentality with modern technology-driven investigative techniques significantly broadens his expertise and effectiveness,” said Olson. “When you add this to his innate persistence and single-minded focus, you get a detective who doggedly pursues an investigation wherever it takes him.”
The Tri-County Law Enforcement Association is made of law enforcement personnel from Dakota, Hennepin and Ramsey counties. Its mission is to provide members with quality training opportunities and foster strong, professional partnerships with other member agencies to develop officers’ investigative experience and knowledge. The Investigator of the Year Award is given annually to an investigator who has made a significant contribution to the Tri-County Law Enforcement Association or to a number of member agencies.
For more information about the Edina Police Department, visit EdinaMN.gov/Police or call 952-826-1610.