Shop with a Cop

Last Saturday, 14 EPPD officers and community service officers volunteered their time for the department’s third annual Shop with a Cop event. The officers partnered up with 11 children for an afternoon of shopping followed by a pizza party at Davanni’s. It’s a great outreach program that showcases the warmth and joy of giving during the holiday season.

Shop with a Cop is sponsored by the Eden Prairie Crime Prevention Fund, which also thanks Target, JCPenney, Davanni’s and the Eden Prairie Community Foundation for their generous donations.

Detective Rohde Retires

Eden Prairie Police Detective Andy RohdeYesterday, EPPD Detective Andy Rohde retired after serving the department for 28 years. Det. Rohde started working for Eden Prairie in 1989 as a patrol officer. In 2002 he began working as a detective, a role he held until his retirement, and also served on the Emergency Response Unit for 10 years. In 2016, Det. Rohde was awarded the Officer of the Year Award by his peers.

At yesterday’s retirement event, Chief Jim DeMann presented Det. Rohde with the Career Achievement Award which is given to police personnel who have demonstrated over the course of one’s career a consistent and superior performance of assigned duties.

Det. Rohde’s award read in part:

Det. Rohde developed an expertise in several areas including arson investigations, contractor fraud investigations, human trafficking interviews and serving as a liaison to the Islamic community in Eden Prairie. Det. Rohde’s advice on these topics was sought after by both new and senior members of the department.

Det. Rohde was always willing to drop what he was doing to help another staff member. In particular, Det. Rohde trained numerous new officers on effective interview and investigative techniques. Because Det. Rohde was so easy to work with and so generous with his time, he served as a mentor to many new officers.

One of Det. Rohde’s more difficult cases came in 2014 when two men broke into the Lifetime Fitness club and robbed and beat a man, leaving him with severe head trauma. A short time later the same suspects beat a second man in his home, also causing severe head trauma. After the suspects were arrested at the scene, Det. Rohde interviewed them and was able to obtain a confession. The case went to trial and the primary assailant was sentenced to 160 months in prison.

The prosecutor who worked on the case sent a note to the department after the sentencing praising Det. Rohde for his great work, responsiveness and dedicated involvement throughout the case.

Det. Rohde also worked on several other high profile cases. He was the lead investigator on a theft by swindle case involving a daycare in Eden Prairie that was overbilling the State of Minnesota $13,000 per month and he worked on a contractor fraud case that took two years to investigate 14 victims who lost more than $1 million.

Congratulations on your retirement Det. Rohde! We wish you well on the next chapter of your life.

13 DWIs in 8 Days

Scene from DWI-related crash Nov. 28

EPPD officers have been busy in the past eight days arresting 13 people for DWI (Driving While Impaired). Yesterday afternoon alone, officers arrested two people, one of whom ran his truck into an Extended Stay America hotel on Technology Drive. Fortunately no one was hurt.

With the holiday season upon us, the EPPD would like to remind drivers of the serious consequences of driving while impaired. In 2015, drunk driving contributed to 95 deaths in Minnesota. One in seven Minnesota drivers have DWIs on their records.

If you are arrested for DWI, you will likely lose your license for 30 days to a year and could face jail time. In addition, the costs of a DWI can be as high as $20,000 when factoring in court costs, legal fees and increased insurance premiums.

What’s the best way to help fight drunk driving?

  • Have a plan for a sober ride before you party.
  • Use safe alternatives — designate a sober driver, take a cab or public transportation, or crash on a friend’s couch, so you don’t crash on the road.
  • Speak up — if you see erratic driving (swerving, driving too slow, etc.), find a safe place to call 911. Be prepared to provide location, driver behavior and most importantly, a license plate number.

Welcome New Employees!

911 Dispatcher Tommy Albindia

911 Dispatcher Tommy Albindia

This week the EPPD welcomes two new civilian employees to our department. Tommy Albindia started Nov. 25 as a 911 Dispatcher and Beth Grover began working as a Records Technician Nov. 27.

Tommy was born and raised in St. Paul where he played and refereed hockey. He still serves as a hockey referee for Division 1 college hockey and other games. Tommy earned his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Metro State University and worked as dispatcher for the Minnesota State Patrol for the past seven years.

Records Technician Beth Grover

Records Technician Beth Grover

Beth is a Minnesota native. She graduated from Campbell University in North Carolina with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and a minor in business administration. She worked in information technology positions for 21 years with a focus on government and banking applications.

We are excited to have both of them join our department!

First Day for Sgt. Rob Johnston

Sgt. Rob JohnstonYesterday was Rob Johnston’s first day serving as a sergeant for the EPPD.

Sgt. Johnston has worked for Eden Prairie since August 2004 when he started as a patrol officer. During his tenure he has also served as a Retail Crime Unit officer, Explorer Post adviser, Crisis Intervention Team member, Training Unit instructor, Crime Prevention Team member and Field Training officer.

Sgt. Johnston grew up in Backus and earned an associate degree from Central Lakes College in Brainerd.

Sgt. Johnston will spend 3-4 weeks in sergeant field training before working on his own.