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Reserve officer honored by Dakota County Police Chiefs

Chuck Parrish was awarded the Dakota County Chiefs of Police Association's Citizen Award of Excellence last week.

When Chuck Parrish puts on his Rosemount Police Reserves uniform, he knows anything could happen. It's a fact he doesn't take lightly.

"Once you put on the uniform, it's a lot of responsibility," said Parrish.

Parrish has been a Rosemount Police Reserve officer since the spring of 2010. He joined to help his community. Since joining, he's volunteered more than 2,000 hours and collected a lot of little stories along the way.

"I've met a lot of great people and do some neat things," said Parrish.

Rosemount Police Chief Eric Werner said Parrish's time and effort add a lot to the department. For his effort, Werner nominated Parrish for the Dakota County Chiefs of Police Association's Citizen Award of Excellence. On Sept. 13, Parrish received the award.

"I'm blown away by this honor," Parrish said.

Werner said Parrish and his contributions are worthy of the honor.

"The reserves are an important part of our service to the community," said Werner. "(Chuck) adds so much to our team."

Parrish is retired and volunteers with the program several days a week. Reserve officers assist regular sworn police officers. Their responsibilities include traffic control, event security and park patrol. Parrish said the reserves' most visible role is the help they provide during special events such as Leprechaun Days, the Haunted Woods Trail and Rosemount High School sporting events.

"The reserves are a beneficial thing for the city and the police department," said Parrish.

He first learned of the program while participating in the police department's Citizen Police Academy four years ago. After going through the academy, Parrish decided he wanted to do more.

He went through the application process and was accepted to the reserves in April 2010. A retired businessman, Parrish said joining the program was something new for him.

"It totally took me out of my comfort zone. I think it shows though that even someone at my age can do something new and achieve something," said Parrish.

To make himself more comfortable while out patrolling Parrish went through first responder training. While it wasn't required, Parrish said it has come in handy especially when he's answering calls with the sworn in officers.

"I can do a lot more to help," Parrish said.

As a member of the reserves Parrish has had the opportunity to participate in some activities usually limited to police officers, such as helping with training simulations. Recently he played the "bad guy" when the Rosemount Police Department completed an active shooter exercise at the high school.

Overall, Parrish said while it's nice to be honored, he would do his reserve work anyway.

"There are really a lot of benefits to having a reserve unit and I really do enjoy it."

Emily Zimmer
Emily Zimmer has worked as a staff writer for the Rosemount Town Pages since 2007. She has a degree in journalism from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Outside of work, Emily enjoys running, reading and gardening. You can follow Emily's gardening adventures at the Areavoices blog East of Weedin'
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