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Humor helps Officer Jeff Rogerson shine as best of Milwaukie Police Department

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Cadet, reserve cop also recognized for professionalism -


Milwaukie Police Officer Jeff Rogerson recently conducted a memorable high-risk traffic stop of a stolen car.

PHOTO COURTESY: MILWAUKIE POLICE DEPARTMENT - MPD Officer Jeff Rogerson returns a stolen bear statue to the Wichita Pub on Friday.While Rogerson was giving orders to keep hands where he could see them, etc., a man who appeared to be high on drugs said, “I’ve been through a lot of these, and you’re doing a great job.”

“I graciously thanked him,” Rogerson said.

Rogerson will be named Milwaukie’s officer of the year next week, due to his professionalism and his good sense of humor seen by his peers in blue.

“I try to lighten the load when I’m out in the field talking with people,” Rogerson said. “People are often upset or agitated, so it’s about diffusing the situation.”

Also known for having a big heart, Rogerson regularly visits a Milwaukie woman, who will turn 105 years old in March, just to check on her. He and his wife donated a used car to a couple whose car caught on fire across from City Hall.

“They were both veterans and down on their luck, and we had a van that had some mechanical issues, but the man was mechanically inclined, so the chief gave me permission to donate it,” Rogerson said.

Rogerson was nominated for the award by three peers who cited “his incredible work ethic and his desire to help others.” The award was decided by a vote of the Milwaukie police force’s rank-and-file members. 

“Jeff is one of those guys who always volunteers to help other officers on the shift whenever he isn’t tied up himself,” said Steve Bartol, Milwaukie’s police chief. “Jeff is also the guy who is constantly looking for new challenges.”

Rogerson, 53, was a Milwaukie reserve officer for seven years from 2004-11, earning reserve-officer-of-the-year honors twice during that time. He hadn’t been satisfied being in the commercial printing business for 26 years.

“Being an officer was something I always wanted to do,” Rogerson said. “My uncle always said, ‘If you aim at nothing, you’re bound to hit it.’”

In his five years since being hired full-time, he has taken on several ancillary duties including cadet adviser, truck inspector and field-training officer. Last month he was appointed as the force’s newest traffic officer.

“Jeff treats everyone both internally and externally with respect,” Bartol said. “He works hard to provide quality service to the citizens he encounters. Jeff joined this profession later in life than some, but did so because he truly believes in the calling to serve.” 

“Everyone that I work with is a great group of people, and I don’t feel that I do anything special above what other officers do,” Rogerson said. “Treat people with respect, and you usually get treated with respect back.”

Prior to his officer-of-the-year honors, Rogerson was best known for an incident in 2013. As reported in a June 2013 article headlined “Beer-soaked night ends in ‘bear-napping’ charges,” the general manager of the Wichita Pub in Milwaukie was relieved to see Rogerson had recovered the establishment’s beloved wooden bear statue that had been stolen. Between the surveillance video from the pub, and the images posted on Facebook, Rogerson helped identify two suspects in the theft of the chainsaw-art wooden bear statue.

When contacted by police, both men claimed that taking the bear statue was a joke and that they had intended to return it later. Both men were issued citations to appear in Clackamas County Circuit Court on theft charges.

This is the second year in a row that both Reserve Sgt. Sean Stringer and Cadet Melisa Campos have received the reserve/cadet of the year awards. In 2015, Stringer logged 251 hours of volunteer time for the police department, while Campos logged 702. They both juggle full-time jobs, family and school.

“The nominations for both these volunteers cite their willingness to assist in any way possible and their strong commitment to both the department and the community,” Bartol said. “Both of these volunteers clearly have a high degree of dedication and commitment.”

The American Legion Post #180 and the Milwaukie Public Safety Foundation will host the Milwaukie Police Department Officers of the Year dinner and awards ceremony starting with a reception at 6 p.m. Tuesday, March 8, at 2146 S.E. Monroe St., Milwaukie. Dinner at 7 p.m. includes salad, prime rib or chicken, and dessert.

Tickets are on sale at milwaukiepsf.org/dinner.html.