Trooper Tjon named top officer in Steele County
This year’s honor for Peace Officer of the Year went to State Trooper William Tjon, who gracefully accepted the award from the Exchange Club of Steele County on Feb. 22.
Trooper Tjon hails from Twin Valley, Minn., and has served as a state trooper in Steele and Rice counties for 12 years. During the ceremony, Tjon’s superior, Lt. Brian Buck, was also on hand to congratulate him.
“I think it’s great that the Exchange Club recognized Trooper Tjon today,” Buck said. “Our troopers do a lot of great things, day in and day out. It’s good that they get recognized for the hard work that they do. It’s good to have something like today to recognize all the hard work that Trooper Tjon does.”
It was an honor that Trooper Tjon was not expecting. “I’m very appreciative of it,” Tjon said of the award. “I was extremely surprised when Lt. Buck pulled me in for it and told me I got it. It’s a very, very nice award.”
“Trooper Tjon exemplifies what the Minnesota State Patrol stands for,” Exchange Club Board Director Randy Sobrack said while reading Lt. Buck’s recommendation. “He represents our agency well, and I wholeheartedly agree.”
Exchange Club President Steve Frodl told Tjon and Buck that he appreciates all of their hard work and public service. “I want to thank you guys for what you do,” Frodl said during the ceremony. “I think about you guys every day, and I just can’t believe how you guys can go out there and do it every day.”
As a state trooper charged with patrolling two counties, Tjon’s work takes him across Steele and Rice, where he has seen his share of situations. “There’s numerous times when I’ve even been the first responder on local calls,” Tjon said of the fact that he isn’t just patrolling the freeway.
Outside of his duties as a trooper, Tjon has also taught Driver’s Ed classes in Medford, Faribault, and Owatonna. He also has talked with students in middle school about his job and education and participates in Shop with a Cop.
“We have a lot of fun with Shop with a Cop, getting to know these kids and buying them gifts is great,” Tjon said. “We also are in Big Brothers Big Sisters, we have a little and he’s a lot of fun as well.”
After the ceremony, Frodl offered his thoughts on Trooper Tjon’s recognition. “I’m really pleased that we could honor one of our officers here in our county and in surrounding areas,” Frodl said. “We really appreciate the work that they do, and we know that Bill (Trooper Tjon) comes to us highly recommended by his boss, Lt. Buck.”
“We think about them every day, and they’re in our thoughts and prayers every day and hope that every day goes well for them,” Frodl continued. “We appreciate everything they do, and we congratulate him and his family for the support that they give him.”
The Exchange Club of Steele County honors a different peace officer each year. “We’re really happy to honor these guys, every year we pick one for Peace Officer of the Year,” Frodl explained. “We’re just so pleased with all the work that they do so we just want to make sure that they know that the community is behind them and supports them.”