Edina Detective Joel Moore and Sgt. Kevin Rofidal were recently named the 2018 Mike Siitari Officers of the Year by the Edina Crime Prevention Fund.
Since 2011, the Crime Prevention Fund has recognized one officer a year in honor of former Police Chief Mike Siitari. For the first time, they chose two people to honor.
“I fully support these two being recognized,” said Police Chief Dave Nelson. “I think it’s outstanding and I agree with the board’s decision that both of these officers should be recognized. Both of them have been with the department for many years and the things that they do for the department are so great.”
Last year, Moore solved two third-degree murder cases, a Walgreens robbery and a homicide.
Moore began work in January 2018 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, 2018, Moore interviewed Prodan’s boyfriend, Joseph Porter, in Little Rock, Arkansas, where Porter 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, and Little Rock and New Orleans police departments.
“Joel’s work was just outstanding,” said Nelson.
Police work runs in Rofidal’s blood. His grandfather, Louis Rofidal, was a Police Officer in Brainerd. He died as Police Chief three years before Kevin was born.
“Kevin grew up in Edina and he always wanted to be a cop,” said Nelson.
Nelson said that Rofidal always looks for opportunities to improve. He is credited with applying for a grant for the City to purchase a Bear Cat in 2003, and bring it to Edina to use in the west metro. He worked hard to bring back the K-9 Unit that dissolved decades previously. He garnered community support and found other donors who spurred the start of K-9 retirement funds. He is the department’s self-appointed historian.
“I’m most proud of the work I’ve done on the history of the department,” said Rofidal. “It’s fun for me when other departments have an officer or a civilian employee come over and say, ‘Can you show us some of the stuff you’re doing?’”
For more than 45 years, the Edina Crime Prevention Fund has been a valuable community partner. The Fund is a proud and significant contributor to many police department services and programs, including the K-9 Unit, Bike Patrol, Junior Police, Foot Patrol, Motorcycle Unit, Night to Unite, Mobile Surveillance Unit, Citizens’ Academy and Police Explorers. The Fund has also has paid out a substantial amount in reward and informant money. This money has assisted the police in solving serious crimes, including burglaries and robberies.
“The Crime Fund exists to help our police in whatever way we can,” said Edina Crime Prevention Fund President Jon Barnett. “I think these guys are exemplary of what we see in our whole department. We have a great group of people who help keep us safe. … It just makes you thankful that we live in a town where we have such a good team of people to help us.”
The award will be presented to the officers at the next City Council meeting, 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 18, at Edina City Hall, 4801 W. 50th St.
For more information about the Edina Police Department, visit EdinaMN.gov/Police or call 952-826-1610.