Officer's work with youths honored

posted on Wednesday, December 14, 2016 in  College News

By: Jeff Reinitz, Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier

WATERLOO—Officer Dustin Lindaman is known for keeping the door to his office at Central Middle School open.

“He is just an awesome guy,” said 13-year-old Davison Schley.

Davison said when he’s having a bad day, Lindaman, a school resource officer, is the person who can help level things out.

“He goes to the extent that if a kid is having a bad day, he’ll talk about it, come up with some problem-solving ideas, almost in a counseling way,” said Alissa Richards, the school’s principal. “If they have been getting in trouble, he’ll say ‘if you have good days for three days, I’ll get you McDonald’s.’ He is constantly working to build positive relationships with kids.”

On Tuesday, that attention to helping youths earned Lindaman, a 12-year veteran with the Waterloo Police Department, national recognition.

U.S. Attorney Kevin Techau presented Lindaman with the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Enrique Camarena Award.

“Officer Lindaman has the unique opportunity to build positive relationships with students, to serve as a role model and to have important conversations with students at a critical time in their development,” Techau told a small gathering of students and teachers during the award presentation in the school library.

He said the officer educates students about drug abuse prevention and other matters.

An Iowa native, Lindaman joined the U.S. Marine Corps after graduating from Cedar Falls High School. He later earned a police science degree at Hawkeye Community College and joined the Waterloo Police Department in 2004.

After a stint as a patrol officer, Lindaman said his prior experience working for Four Oaks youth counseling agency and the local juvenile detention center drew him to the school resource officer assignment.

“The interaction with kids led me to that type of thing, and when these jobs opened up at the department … I really was interested in that.”

The award is named in honor of Enrique “Kiki” Camarena, a special agent with the DEA who was kidnapped and murdered while working undercover in Mexico.


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