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The Nebraska State Patrol recognized a local trooper this morning for not only his role in arresting two individuals but also in the recovery of property valued at $40,000.
Trooper Daniel Parker of Neligh received a Distinguished Service Award in Norfolk on Wednesday after playing a key role in a case from August. But Parker was quick to credit the other individuals for their involvement rather than to accept sole credit.
"It was a huge joint effort. I'm the one who got the award, but this was a whole bunch of officers from several agencies," he said. "We had four agencies going and working this at the same time at one point, in the middle of the night when everyone was supposed to be off duty. . . . Without that this wouldn't have worked because sometimes these things are very time sensitive."
Parker said the case started out with several burglaries in the Holt County area that utilized Holt, Antelope and Rock County Sheriff's Departments, along with the Nebraska State Patrol and several county attorneys. Parker was the officer who connected the missing items with those he spotted in Antelope County five days earlier, which led to locating and recovering $40,000 worth of stolen property.
"I'm proud of what we do; there's no question about that. It's just doing the right thing, and that's what this came down to. At the end of the day, a whole bunch of farmers, ranchers and rural people got their stuff back, which is way more of a reward than even being recognized. When people have stuff taken from them and they get it back, that's the reward - that's why we're here and why people pay their taxes and why we do what we do."
Still, Parker said he was simply doing his job as a trooper with the Nebraska State Patrol.
"I don't see this as way outside of what we do. This is what we do, who we are. This is exactly what you hope to do if you're in that situation," Parker said.
Parker's family also attended Wednesday's ceremony, including his three daughters and wife. Parker said it was an opportunity for his children to see what he does.
"It gives them a little bit of a peace of mind when I haven't been to a Thanksgiving celebration with our family in a long, long time. Now, maybe they sort of understand why somebody has to do the job even on holidays," he said.