The Iowa State Reserve Law Officers Association surprised retired reserve officer and secretary treasurer Dan Brandt with its Distinguished Service Award Saturday during the group's annual conference.
The conference returned home to Marshalltown for its 40th anniversary.
Brandt and Bob Schubert, now a Marshalltown City Council member, were instrumental in establishing the reserve.
Charles Shelabarger, ISLOA president (right), presents Dan Brandt with the Distinguished Service Award Saturday. The ISLOA has only given the award six times in 40 years.
"It has been a journey to bring reserve law enforcement forward in a professional manner. And we have accomplished that. But there is still more to do," Brandt said.
Charles Shelabarger, ISLOA president, said the group has only given the award recognizing time and effort to promote the advancement of the reserve law enforcement six times in its 40-year history.
"It's not something that is handed out like pancakes," he said.
As an unpaid volunteer, Brandt regularly lobbies on behalf of reserve officers traveling to committee meeting and the Capitol, Shelabarger said.
Because of his continued involvement, Brandt has been a fountain of knowledge on what works best for reserve officers, he said.
"We wouldn't be where we are today without him ... He pretty much means everything [to the ISLOA]. He has been there to fight all the big battles," Shelabarger said. "He, more than anybody, gives of his time and talent."
Capt. Mike Hanken of the Marshalltown Police Department said Brandt and reserve law enforcement are inextricably tied to each other. A person can't talk about one without mentioning the other.
Hanken said the MPD applauds anyone who commits to their community by taking time away from their busy schedule - many of them from their families - to do ride-alongs.
Brandt has always been the first to answer the call of duty, he added.
"No matter what time of day or night, Dan could always be relied upon," he said. "That is the true testament of a volunteer."
Brandt has always been at the forefront of reserve legislative measures, Hanken said. The reserve officers owe a lot of their legitimacy to him.
"It's kind of humbling," Brandt said. "I appreciate the honor and recognition."