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Waterloo officer Ben Bloker reads “My Lucky Day” to a room of kids and adults during National Read-A-Thon Day at the Waterloo Public Library in May 2016.

WATERLOO — Two Waterloo police officers have been honored for their work.

Officer Ben Bloker was named the Waterloo Police Department Officer of the Year for 2017 during a Jan. 19 Waterloo Exchange Club luncheon at the Elks Club.

Officer James Natvig was named the department’s Reserve Officer of the Year.

Bloker has been with the Waterloo force since September 1996 and is currently assigned to first-shift patrol.

“Ben is just solid. His ability on the street, his instincts, are almost uncanny,” said Police Chief Dan Trelka.

For example, during a gunfire call in March 2017, officers detained the suspect, but they were unable to find the weapon.

“Ben starts checking the area, and within a few minutes, discovers it in a mailbox,” Trelka said.

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Police recovered one handgun from a mailbox in the area of Locust and West Third streets following a shooting about a block away Tuesday.

He said Bloker also is known for his good attitude on the job and for building a rapport with residents.

A Janesville native, Bloker graduated from Janesville High School in 1991 and studied at the University of Northern Iowa before joining the U.S. Navy. After the military, he graduated from Hawkeye Community College’s police science program and was hired by the Waterloo Police Department.

While at the department, Bloker has worked third-shift patrol and was a member of the K9 Unit, working with K9 Aron. He is also a crime scene investigator for the patrol division. Bloker is married and had two sons.

Natvig has been a reserve officer since 2015.

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Police and Courts Reporter

Cops and courts reporter for the Courier

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