CAMANCHE, Iowa — Police officers put their life on the line every day, and many go above and beyond their law enforcement duties to make their communities safer and better.
News 8's Beyond the Badge series pays tribute to those making a difference in their communities. This honor is given in memory of Detective Rick Ryckeghem, a 31-year-veteran of the Moline Police Department and Quad Cities Crime Stoppers coordinator.
Rick lost his battle with cancer in March 2019. His focus throughout his career was to make a difference in the lives of the people he encountered.
We've selected three outstanding law enforcement officers to receive the award this year, the first one is Camanche Police Officer Cory Snodgrass.
Officer Snodgrass has served as a firefighter and EMT since 2006, and as a police officer since 2008. He’s been with the Camanche Police for the last three years and received the department’s Community Service Award last year.
When he’s not on patrol, you can often find Officer Snodgrass at the Resources of Camanche, or the "R.O.C," a food pantry he co-founded a year ago.
"If you can utilize the food, especially the fresh produce", said Snodgrass while showing us around his pantry, "we want you to come in and use it."
Snodgrass started the pantry with his wife Alicia in their garage.
"And we had a couple other people reach out to us and say, 'Hey, I see what you guys are doing, why are you doing this and we see a need.' People need extra food," Snodgrass said.
The pantry is stocked with donations from the community and Riverbend Food Bank. Distributing those goods is just one example of the good he’s doing — he's also a volunteer firefighter and EMT for Camanche.
"Just seeing people's faces light up, sometimes you're there on their worst times, but you're also there in some of their best times," Snodgrass said. "So being able to lighten their day a little bit goes a long way."
But wait – there’s more. Snodgrass also leads Camanche Days’ Teen Board and Key Club. He’s a volunteer wrestling coach, substitute teacher, and a father of six!
"He's the greatest inspirational person to me," said Arian Stowe, a Camanche high school student and junior firefighter. "He does such good stuff for the community."
"His love of service is something that everybody can see," said Alicia.
So it was no surprise when the Camanche native was selected for our Beyond the Badge award, especially to Jennifer Wiese, who nominated him.
"Cory was the first person who came to mind," Wiese said. "I've seen him do a tremendous amount of volunteer work. He's always working with kids and helping the community and the R.O.C. food pantry. And he will stop whatever he's doing just to help the community."
Snodgrass did not expect to win this award. He said that he does all of these things just to do them.
"I don't think of it as wanting an award – it's just part of my drive, part of who I am. It's just to help, regardless," Snodgrass said.
"It gives you goose bumps – he was totally caught off guard and surprised, so that was cool and just to see him tear up and what the award meant to him," Camanche Fire Chief Dave Schutte said, "and I think it's a tremendous tribute to him and the job he does for the community and the police department."
"He just likes people to be happy," said Camanche Police Chief Richard Schmitz. "He just likes to help people. And that's in his DNA. He's an amazing asset for this community."
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