Legion recognizes Police Officer, Firefighter of the YearPolice officer Jason Waage and firefighter Tom Bigalk were honored during a ceremony March 10
By: Emily Zimmer, Rosemount Town Pages
The Rosemount American Legion honored the city’s police officer and firefighter of the year March 10. Police officer Jason Waage and fire fighter Tom Bigalk were named top in their fields for 2012.
Police chief Gary Kalstabakken said Waage was chosen as officer of the year by a committee from the police department. As an officer, Kalstabakken said Waage works hard and goes about his duties with a good attitude.
“He has grown tremendously since he started with the department four years ago,” said Kalstabakken.
This past year Waage was assigned to the Dakota County Tactical Team which requires additional effort on his part. Waage also led the department in DWI arrests in 2011.
Kalstabakken said Waage works hard to keep the community safe whether he’s making traffic stops or responding to calls.
Before being hired as an police officer Waage served the department as a Community Service Officer. He has been with the department since July 2008.
Bigalk said he did not expect the honor to go his way Saturday night.
“I can honestly say it was a surprise,” said Bigalk.
Fire chief Scott Aker said Bigalk is a dedicated member of the department who responds to calls day and night.
Over the last year he has been involved with fire prevention activities including the installation of smoke detectors in homes, organizing Night to Unite events, community education efforts and giving tours of Fire Station #2. Bigalk also served on the department’s committee to select a new truck, which took extra time and effort.
Aker said Bigalk puts a lot of time in doing things around the station including small repairs and organizing. When something needs to be done, Aker said Bigalk takes it upon himself to do it, which is appreciated by the other volunteers on the department.
“He just does a lot of little things,” Aker said of Bigalk.
Bigalk has served on the Rosemount Fire Department since 2005.He joined after talking to some firefighters at the a National Night Out block party.
After six years on the department, Bigalk said he finds the work rewarding and he’s happy to serve the community. However, he said, it wouldn’t be possible without the support of his family who are affected by his random schedule.