Rescue diver receives Sioux City police chief commendation, first non-officer recipient

This week, police departments around the country are honoring those who have worn the badge.

Since 1962, the time is meant to honor and remember the lives of law enforcement who were lost in the line of duty. 

But, each year, one day is carved out to reward the work and dedication of our officers.

A somber time for the badges in blue. 

Commemorated by a ceremony to recognize their most recent achievements. 

"We want to honor our own," said Sioux City Police Chief Rex Mueller. "They do so many good things." 

Thursday night, Sioux City Police gathered to award its standout officers, who went above and beyond the call of duty, this past year. 

"Is meant to remedy all the times that we miss and don’t praise our folks, appropriately," said Mueller. 

Exceptional work in victims’ cases, reviving people on the brink of death, and recovering a family lost in the Missouri River. 

"It was a tragic, tragic event," said Mueller. 

October 16th, 2017,  a vehicle carrying a family of three plowed through Chris Larsen Park and careened into the Missouri River. 

"Until we recovered that car, it wasn’t known if we had lost three members of that community," said Mueller. 

For over a week, law enforcement worked with rescue divers to recover the vehicle. 

But the river’s current was too rapid. 

The risk – too high. 

"It’s a beast," said Sioux City Fire Dept. Dive Rescue member, Aaron Lisle. 

But someone had to take the plunge. 

"I was the one that go to go in and we got the job done," said Lisle. 

Rescue diver, Aaron Lisle, descended to the bottom of the Missouri River, got caught, and dragged down by debris. 

He resurfaced and dove once again…

"I couldn’t see anything, it was all by feel," said Lisle. 

This time, he spotted the car. 

"When I came out of that water, I was tired," said Lisle. "I was on my hands and knees and I was spent. I was ready for rest." 

"The risk that Aaron took…to dive two times and crawl across the bottom of the Missouri River, putting his own life in jeopardy, can’t be understated," said Mueller. 

A feat that earned Lisle the first-ever chief commendation not awarded to a law enforcement officer. 

"I was honestly overcome by this award," said Lisle. "I had no idea it was coming." 

Other notable award recipients Thursday night, Sergeant Jess Aesoph received a promotion from Chief Mueller. 

Sergeant Ryan Bertrand was awarded for his detective work in victims’ crimes. 



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