This week, Buffalo Grove honored a man who has been synonymous with traffic safety in village.
Sgt. Scott Kristiansen retired this month after serving the department for more than 30 years.
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Kristiansen, who lives in Buffalo Grove, began his career as a sworn police officer on Nov. 11, 1982. He served in a variety of positions, including patrol officer, investigator and corporal.
In 1998, he was promoted to sergeant in the traffic and patrol divisions.
He has received numerous commendations for his outstanding police work, including the 1993 Buffalo Grove Police Officer of the Year Award.
A village board proclamation read at this week's meeting praised his "integrity, character and professionalism."
Kristiansen said he found his niche in traffic safety after he had the opportunity to work with officers in the department who specialized in crash reconstruction.
"I got into this job so I didn't have to work with math, and it turns out that that's all I was doing, working in crash reconstruction," he joked.
Gradually, he realized the importance of traffic safety. "I thought this was a very good way for me to … save some lives and have an impact not only on our community, but people who travel through Buffalo Grove."
His enthusiasm never flagged. "I was just as excited on the day I left to be working at the Buffalo Grove Police Department as I was the day I got hired," he said.
Kristiansen said he still will be in the field he loves, working on grants and traffic safety initiatives as a law enforcement liaison with the Illinois Department of Transportation.
Kristiansen said his wife, Yvonne, gave him valuable support during times when he had to work midnights. They've been married 28 years and have two children.