University police Lt. Don Rasmuson recognized as local Law Enforcement Officer of the Year


Marti Elshaug

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University police Lt. Don Rasmuson recognized as local Law Enforcement Officer of the Year

University Police officer Lt. Don Rasmuson has been patrolling the University of North Dakota campus for more than three decades.

In that time, Rasmuson has continually worked to improve the safety of UND students and assisted other organizations throughout Grand Forks, state and region.

"I have been involved, over the years, with the Community Violence Intervention Center (CVIC) here in Grand Forks and with the North Dakota Council on Abused Women's Services in Bismarck," he said. "While associated with these organizations, I have served on committees that have developed a Model Policy on Domestic Violence for North Dakota Law Enforcement Agencies and served for a time as a Technical Assistant for ND Council on Abused Women's Services (CAWS) to assist agencies in adopting this policy.

"I also served on a committee that developed a Model Policy for Sexual Assault Investigations. I am still involved locally with the Sexual Assault Response Team Committee as we work toward improving our responses to victims of sexual violence. I am active with UND's Committee on Sexual Violence. I have also provided presentations to classes, sororities and fraternities on sexual assaults."

For his efforts, now and in the past, Rasmuson recently was named Law Enforcement Officer of the Year by the local Veterans of Foreign Wars.

Before his career started at UND, Rasmuson served three years with the U.S. Army as a military police officer, stationed in Fort Leavenworth, Kan., giving him a total of 36 years in law enforcement. He attended Minot State University after being released from active duty.

John Hanson, VFW Post 1874, said that Rasmuson is a good model for the Law Enforcement of the Year award because of his continuing efforts to protect and serve the campus community and his involvement in numerous civic groups and service organizations.

Rasmuson said he was a bit surprised when Hanson called and informed him he was being nominated for the award.

"Nearly everyone that pins on a badge to go to work is worthy of the award, I'm nothing special," Rasmuson said. " I told (Hanson) that I was honored to be nominated, and if it didn't work out, the nomination itself was good enough for me.

Rasmuson said the letters of support he received from people like Grand Forks Police Capt. Mark Nelson and former University Police Chief Duane Czapiewski were humbling.

"It's not often that a person gets to hear such things about yourself while still alive to appreciate it," he said. " Any award I have received over the years is special to me; the biggest parts of those awards are that I don't do what I do for the awards or recognition – I do it so I can make a difference."

Marti Elshaug

University and Public Affairs student writer

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