A variety of civic groups in the City of De Pere hosted an awards celebration on Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2023 to recognize outstanding public safety in our community. 

The "Outstanding Firefighter Award" was presented to De Pere Fire Rescue Battalion Chief Ron Cody and Firefighter Brandon Hageman for their brave rescue of two individuals with physical limitations from a burning apartment building in Ashwaubenon. When it was reported that people were trapped on the second floor and unable to exit the building, Battalion Chief Cody and Firefighter Hageman were tasked with rescuing the occupants. As flames and conditions worsened, these firefighters didn’t hesitate to act.  With bravery and quick-thinking, they reached the victims and helped assist them through window and down a ladder to safety. 

This year's "Beyond the Call" award was given to the night shift officers of the De Pere Police Department—Officers Benjamin Giese, Tyler Dawson, Walter Pappas, Jacob Eberhardt, Brian Rates, Aaron Albert, and K-9 Officer Kurt—for their successful work in tackling illicit drugs in our community. In the past few years, dangerous illicit drugs from outside the area have been coming to our section of Wisconsin, but this group of dedicated De Pere officers – each offering unique skills to the team – have taken it upon themselves to work together to address the issue. Together, they have combatted large quantities of illegal drugs, drug money, and drug traffickers entering and damaging our community, and executed more significant drug arrests and forfeiture seizures than any point in department history.