Curtis native named to national honor
ORLANDO, Fla. — Nebraska State Trooper Sam Mortensen has been named Officer of the Year by the Motor Vehicle Criminal Interdiction Association. Trooper Mortensen received the honor Tuesday during the annual MVCI conference in Orlando.
In 2018, Trooper Mortensen was responsible for several criminal interdictions, seizing large amounts of fentanyl, cocaine, methamphetamine, marijuana, and fraudulent or stolen credit cards. A 118-pound seizure of fentanyl, discovered during a traffic stop in Buffalo County in April 2018, was believed to be the largest seizure of fentanyl in United States history, until a seizure by Customs and Border Protection Agents eclipsed the mark earlier this year.
“This is a tremendous honor, but it’s not just about me,” said Trooper Mortensen. “Many dedicated officers have come before those of us who are troopers today. They paved the way for us, and I’m proud to be part of the Nebraska State Patrol team that works daily, in numerous ways, to keep Nebraska safe.”
Trooper Mortensen is a 17-year veteran of the Nebraska State Patrol and serves in the Carrier Enforcement Division.
He grew up in the Curtis area and graduated from Medicine Valley High School in 1997. He then went on to the University of Nebraska and State Patrol Academy.
He has also been a member of the Marine Reserves since 2005.
In October 2018, Trooper Mortensen participated in an event at the White House to raise awareness for opioid abuse. During that event, President Donald Trump personally recognized Mortensen for his efforts to take dangerous controlled substances off the street.
“Trooper Mortensen is a great reflection of the training and dedication that it takes to remove these drugs from our communities,” said Col. John Bolduc, Superintendent of the Nebraska State Patrol. “At the same time he’s become a national leader in the field of criminal interdiction, he’s continuing to learn and also sharing that knowledge with other officers across Nebraska.”
The Motor Vehicle Criminal Interdiction Association presents the Bob Thomasson Officer of the Year award annually to a law enforcement member that has distinguished him or herself in the area of criminal interdiction.