Nearly the entire Mission Police Department turned up for the council meeting Wednesday in support of their colleagues.
Patrol officers Samantha Kunzler and Tony Schuberger recently completed their police training and were introduced to council members. Kunzler and her field training officer, Nathan Fleming, earned special recognition for successfully handling a dangerous situation with a violent suspect several months ago. Captain Dan Madden bestowed the honors on the officers.
Fleming received a letter of commendation “for his brave and extraordinary performance, which reflects greatly upon himself, the Mission Police Department and the city of Mission.” Kunzler, in turn, received a Purple Heart — the first ever for the Mission Police Department — “for her brave and resolute performance that led to her suffering serious injury during an assault.”
And while the room was filled with smiling faces and applause, it turned quiet and solemn when City Administrator Laura Smith acknowledged the rest of the police officers, thanking them for serving the community even during this especially difficult week for police officers. Smith was alluding to the fatal shootings of Wyandotte County deputies, including Dep. Patrick Rohrer, who had roots in the area and had worked for the Merriam Police Department.
“It’s been a long week and a half for the local law enforcement community, and I know that’s touched many in our department even more personally, and we just appreciate everything you do for us and the services that you offer and the risks that you take,” Smith said to the officers. “Thank you. We don’t get the opportunity to say that, but I wanted to publicly recognize you all this evening.”