Plenty of good news to report from the Owatonna Police Department (OPD) in a recent edition of their Just the Facts newsletter. There was a promotion for a hometown officer, a badge-pinning and oath of office ceremony, and a banquet to celebrate the Police Officer of the Year. The department is also seeking the public's help in locating a dog and its owner after a biting incident in an Owatonna park.

The OPD reports Josh Sorenson, a native of Owatonna, is promoted to Captain, effective September 26. He began with the department in 2004, "During that time, Josh has been a defensive tactics instructor, firearms instructor, child protection investigator, school resource officer and mobile field force instructor."

Sorenson was promoted to Sergeant in 2011 and was named the Owatonna Police Officer of the Year by the Moonlighter's Exchange Club in 2019. He takes the place of Captain Eric Rethemeier who is retiring in January.

The 2021 Officer of the Year, Detective Christian Berg was honored at a recent banquet. He has been with the Owatonna department since 2011.

The OPD recognized officers Michael Brein, Tony Malepsy, Jeremy Katz, John Van Alstine, Matthew Lounsbury and Sergeant Zack Schumaker during an oath-of-office ceremony at an Owatonna City Council meeting.


The police department is seeking public assistance in identifying the owner of a dog that bit someone at the Owatonna Dog Park on State Avenue on Sunday, September 19. Just the Facts reports, "in the case, a younger brindle colored pit-bull, or pit-bull/boxer mix bit a black Labrador and then bit its human owner on the forearm-the dog also had a dark blue collar." A white female with shoulder-length dark hair is believed to be the person with the dog. Anyone with information can contact the Owatonna Police Department at 507-451-8232.

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