MCPA Legislator Recognition Program

The Minnesota Chiefs of Police Association (MCPA) presented Senator Paul Gazelka (R– East Gull Lake) with the the 2021 recipient of the organization’s bi-partisan Legislator of the Year Award on Thursday November 18, 2021. 
(Senator Gazelka is pictured at right with Richfield Police Chief Jay Henthorne
(left) and Corcoran Police Chief Matt Gottschalk (right), co-chairs of the MCPA Legislative Committee).
The MCPA's Legislator Recognition Program recognizes members of the Minnesota House or Senate or the state’s Congressional delegation for their leadership and support on important legislation impacting law enforcement and public safety.

“Senator Gazelka continues to show strong support for the types of measures that will improve public safety,” said MCPA President Eric Werner, police chief in Maple Grove. “He was willing to listen to our concerns and carry them forward to the Governor and House Majority Leader as the 2021 Legislative Session progressed. We felt Senator Gazelka did more for our Association and the challenges facing police chiefs than any other legislator in 2021.”

Senator Gazelka is the 7th recipient of the MCPA's Legislator Recognition Award, which is given to lawmakers who author and support bills that address the legislative priorities of police chiefs in Minnesota.

“It’s an honor to receive this award from the MCPA,” Senator Gazelka said. “Our police are the frontlines in our communities to keep people safe, and I’m grateful to have this distinction at the legislature. Defending the police has taken a new meaning as police step up in the face of vocal opposition from within the Capitol, and efforts to defund their work in our state. I want every officer out there who is doing the good work of community relations, stopping criminals, and helping out their citizens to know: I’ve got your back.”

Past winners of the MCPA Legislator of the Year award include:
Sen. Ron Latz (DFL) St. Louis Park (2015)
Rep. Tony Cornish (R) Lake Crystal (2016)
Rep. Nick Zerwas (R) Elk River (2017)
Rep. Deb Hillstrom (DFL) Brooklyn Center (2018)
Rep. Dave Pinto (DFL) St. Paul (2019)

Rep. Mike Howard (DFL) Richfield (2020)