(Alexandria, MN) — May 16th, 2023 — The Minnesota Association of Women Police have awarded the Melissa Schmidt Community Service Award to two women from Alexandria. Detective Darcie Zirbes and Community Paramedic Katie Harren received the Melissa Schmidt Community Service Award at The 2023 MAWP conference.
The award is given for performing demonstrable skill or activities in the design, implementation and/or
participation in community or school projects, neighborhood watches, town meetings, cultural groups, or other community related activities.
Zirbes and Harren received the award for efforts in the ACCESS team. ACCESS stands for A Community Collaboration of Enhanced Support Services.
According to the Minnesota Association of Women Police website, past winners include:
2022 – Officer Taylor Richmond – St. Cloud Police Department
2021 – Officer Ashlee Lange – University of Minnesota Police Department
2020 – COVID – Awards Presented in 2021 for 2019.
2019 – Officer Heather Gustafson – St Paul Police Department
2018 – Officer Colleen Saunby – Minneapolis Police Department
Officer Cheryl-Leigh Goodman – Minneapolis Police Department
2017 – Officer Tabitha Carrigan – Bemidji Police Department
2016 – Officer Sara Suerth – Brooklyn Park Police Department
About Us The Minnesota Association of Women Police
Dealing with the challenges of today in law enforcement requires problem-solvers who bring different perspectives and experiences from all over the state. Minnesota Association of Women Police emerged out of a devotion to inspire and support women who serve their community, law enforcement professionalism and a desire to achieve success at the highest ranks within the Law Enforcement. Established in 1955, we are a non-profit, incorporated association. Contact us to learn more and get involved.
In 1954, a group of women got together to share ideas about their growing profession. They were working in jails, courts, juvenile divisions and law enforcement to name a few. They first met in someones’ home and the word passed around how successful the get-togethers were. This was the beginning of Minnesota Association of Women Police. Policing for women has changed since 1954, but the original premise of getting together to discuss how to make our work easier and more professional continues to be the main mission.