On September 15, 2022, the Storm Lake Police Department was awarded the U.S. Secretary of Defense Freedom Award for support of its military members. Governor Kim Reynolds presented the award.
Only 15 such awards are presented nationwide. The SLPD is the only public sector recipient in Iowa. The department was nominated by two of its members, Officer Gerardo Bravo and Officer Tyler Munden, who both serve in the Iowa National Guard and have served deployments. Seven members of the SLPD have served in the Guard.
The SLPD was selected out of nearly 2,800 nominations nationwide.
About the Freedom Award
The Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award is the highest recognition given by the U.S. Government to employers for their support of their employees who serve in the Guard and Reserve.
Nominations must come from a Guard or Reserve member who is employed by the organization they are nominating, or from a family member.
The award was created to publicly recognize employers who provide exceptional support to their Guard and Reserve employees. It is the highest in a series of employer recognition awards given by the Department of Defense.
Almost one-half of the U.S. military is comprised of the Guard and Reserve. The Department of Defense shares these citizen warriors with their civilian employers, many of whom provide significant support to their employees who serve in the Guard and Reserve. This award recognizes employers who provide the most outstanding support for their Guard and Reserve employees and is presented annually by the Secretary of Defense.