- Associated Press - Monday, June 15, 2015

ALEXANDIRA, Minn. (AP) - A St. Paul police sergeant has been named Police Officer of the Year by a Minnesota law enforcement association for his work with East and West African immigrant communities.

Sgt. Mark Ficcadenti was given the honor Sunday by the Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association at its annual convention in Alexandria. The group says Ficcadenti organized the city’s first East African Junior Police Academy last year and is a key connection between police and the Somali community.

St. Paul officer Mark Ross and Minnesota State Trooper Brian Beuning received honorable mention awards. The group says Ross was working as a school resource officer when he led an investigation into a father sexually abusing his daughter. Beuning rescued a woman from her car amid rising flood waters in southwestern Minnesota.

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