ELY — Two new Ely Police Department officers were sworn in at the city council meeting this week, and another member of the department was honored for his recent rescue efforts.
Police Chief Chad Houde welcomed Deputy Chief Mike Lorenz and Constable Zachary Ward to the department. Mayor Roger Skraba read the oath of office to the two new hires at the start of the meeting Tuesday evening, in the presence of their families and other police officers.
Lorenz grew up in Hibbing and comes from a law enforcement family. After graduating from Hibbing High School, he attended Hibbing Community College and earned a law enforcement degree. He worked for the City of Chisholm and the Town of Eveleth before joining the St. Louis County Sheriff’s Department, where he served for the past decade. “His main duty station was at the Ely office and he knows our region and our department very well,” Houde said.
“Mike is an avid outdoorsman and when he is not working he is often seen fishing on the lake and spending time with his family. He looks forward to utilizing his 15 years of law enforcement knowledge and experience with our police service,” Houde said.
Ward grew up in southern Minnesota and attended Vermilion Community College, majoring in wildlife/wildlife law enforcement and graduating in 2019.
“Zach was drawn to Ely for his endless recreational pursuits and is also an avid outdoorsman,” Houde said. “He enjoys hunting, fishing, snowmobiling and golf. Zach has wanted to return to Ely since graduating from VCC and is excited to work in our community.
After the swearing in, the two officers were “pinned down” with their law enforcement badges by their families.
In a surprise move, Houde called Ely police officer Christian Deinhammer for his recent rescue efforts last fall when he responded to a 911 dispatch for an overdose situation.
On October 30, 2021, Constable Deinhammer was rushed to a residence in Ely where a 30-year-old man was unconscious and not breathing.
“With little information, Officer Deinhammer responded and quickly assessed the scene, determining that the patient was suffering from an opiate overdose,” Houde said.
He administered Narcan and performed CPR techniques until medical personnel arrived.
“Officer Deinhammer administered a second dose of Narcan and simultaneously updated the dispatchers,” Houde recounted. “After the second dose, the patient regained a pulse. At this time, other emergency responders arrived, and Constable Deinhammer remained directly involved in the patient’s treatment. A third dose of Narcan was administered and there was still no response from the patient. He administered a fourth dose and the patient finally regained consciousness.
Fighting back his emotions as he recounted the story, Houde added: “Throughout this incident Constable Deinhammer remained calm and composed under pressure. Because of his quick response, recognition of the medical emergency, and rescue efforts administered without question, this person is alive today. Constable Deinhammer embodies the best qualities and attributes of being a peace officer and is one of the finest officers I have had the honor of working with. Officer Deinhammer is a true hero and I’m proud to have him as a member of our department.
Chief Houde thanked Deinhammer and asked the council to add a letter of congratulations to his personal employment file. Officer Deinhammer received a plaque of recognition and received a special uniform pin recognizing the honor.
Other responders including Ely Area Ambulance Service, First Responders, Ely Fire Chief and St. Louis County Sheriff’s Department were also recognized for their contributions to the medical emergency.
“We had more than one here that night,” Houde said.
Deinhammer, clearly surprised by all the attention, simply said. “Thank you to the City of Ely for giving me the opportunity to work here. The training I received has helped me to fulfill my duty.