The master of ceremonies Capt. Jim Moran of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department introduced Sgt. Eagan and mentioned the award was one he held close to his heart since it involved honoring a fellow law enforcement officer. He noted that Sgt. Eagan serves as a member of the Maryland Heights Polar Plunge Committee for Special Olympics Missouri (SOMO). Sgt. Eagan always lends a helping hand in the planning and execution of this fund-raising event, which explains why the Plunge runs so smoothly year after year.
Sponsored by Shop ‘n Save and WIL 92.3 FM, this year’s 7th Annual Polar Plunge was hosted by the Hazelwood and Maryland Heights Police Departments with support from the Pattonville Fire Department. A crowd of 662 participants showed up at Creve Coeur Lake on February 23. All of them met the criteria of raising a minimum of $75 for a chance to plunge into the frigid 32° water. A group of Hazelwood police officers, named Team HPD, ranked as the second highest fund-raising team for the event. One team member, Patrolman Dan Bridges, ended up as the overall top fund-raiser by collecting $4,000. This event raised a total of $110,469 for SOMO.
Sgt. Eagan also travels to the Law Enforcement Torch Run (LETR) Conference as often as possible, and supports the outreach of SOMO into the Hazelwood School District. He plays an instrumental role in organizing student groups to participate in the Polar Plunge event. This year, students from Hazelwood West High School (Team HWHS) took the plunge for SOMO. They ended up as the fourth overall highest fund-raising team, and the second highest high school fund-raising team.
He has been able to parlay his passion for volunteering into a career move as well. As a police sergeant, Eagan recently accepted a new position as the Hazelwood Police Department’s Neighborhood Action Team Supervisor and Volunteer Coordinator. His responsibilities include recruiting and training members of the department’s Volunteers in Police Services (VIPS), managing the Hazelwood DARE program, and supervising the activities of Hazelwood’s Police Explorers Post #9217.
“Sgt. Eagan has made great strides in helping us build public trust between the department and our citizens through his involvement in Special Olympics Missouri and other charity activities,” said Hazelwood Police Chief Gregg Hall. “He is truly an asset to our community and I’m proud to work with him on a daily basis.”
At the Opening Ceremonies of SOMO’s Spring Games, Sgt. Andy Eagan joined other police officers and his colleague, HPD Lt. Ron Livingston, in giving high-fives to Special Olympic athletes as they entered the gymnasium for the processional parade. In addition, Hazelwood PO Laura Hall escorted Special Olympics athlete Grant Koch of Fort Zumwalt on the final leg of the Torch Run that made its way around the gymnasium. Both Sgt. Eagan and PO Hall stayed the whole day and gave out medals to the event winners. According to Sgt. Eagan, “Watching the athletes’ faces light up with joy and a big smile when you’re putting a medal around their neck is priceless.”