When Ramsey County sheriff’s deputy Dan Eggers was about 13 years old, someone broke into his family’s house twice.
The first time, the thief took cash from his mother’s purse. The second time, the suspect was scared off in the middle of the night by a burglar alarm his father rigged up.
“Right then and there I decided to become a cop and a detective,” Eggers said.
On Wednesday, Eggers was named investigator of the year by the Sheriff’s Office for his work. Eggers, a 23-year veteran, has investigated such cases as murders, rapes and child abuse for the county.
Sheriff’s spokesman Randy Gustafson said Eggers is a “committed and diligent” investigator who worked more than 150 cases in 2012, many of them among the more complex ones in the county.
“More important is his compassion and kindness he has for victims and their families,” Gustafson said.
“You’ve got to always take the victim’s perspective into account,” Eggers said.
Eggers was among several sworn-in and civilian employees recognized at the annual awards ceremony. Others who were recognized are:
• Mike Tombaga, Deputy of the Year, for his work with the new deputy training academy in 2012.
• Marcie Wacker, Deputy of the Year, for her work handling the delivery of civil papers, such as lawsuits, divorces, evictions and foreclosures.
• Joe Chiodin, Deputy of the Year, for his ongoing mentoring.
• John Ferrian, Deputy of the Year, for performance and leadership leading to arrests and convictions, and working with trainees.
• Tom Dahedl, Deputy of the Year, for investigating and locating fugitives with the Apprehension Unit.
• Mary Roby, Correctional Officer of the Year, for her work with inmates and new officers.
• Vikki Rensch, Civilian of the Year, for her work as the sole clerical staff with the Community Support Services Unit, where she coordinates activities for volunteers.
• Seth Evans, Volunteer of the Year, for volunteering as chaplain for the Ramsey County jail, where he mentors and counsels inmates.
• Cmdr. Mike Salter, Distinguished Service Medal, for 25 years of service. Salter oversees investigations.
• Retired Cmdr. Ken Splittstoesser, for his 33 years of service to the Sheriff’s Office. Splittstoesser worked in narcotics, K-9 and with the traffic unit.
The sheriff’s Honor Guard was also given a unit citation for volunteering at various events, including officer funerals.