MATS 2017

A touching tribute to policemen who gave all

| March 23, 2017

Stephanie Robak works with her husband in their business when she’s not on the job as a police officer.

Patriotism, often focusing on the military, has been a perennial theme among custom truck owners. It’s not often, though, that you see a truck honoring police officers who lose their lives in the line of duty.

Stephanie and Jacob Robak have brought just such a truck to compete in the PKY Truck Beauty Championship at the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, Ky.

The Peterbilt 379 is a short hood, to compensate for its long back end.

The Robaks own Robak Auto Transport, based in St. Cloud, Minn., and leased to Motor Car Auto Carriers. When it came time to outfit their third truck, a 2006 Peterbilt 379, “I said that I wanted a turn designing it,” Stephanie said.

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She handles the paperwork for their business, but she also works as a police officer and 911 dispatcher.

“I wanted to get everybody aware that police officers’ lives do matter,” she says. “They matter to communities that have lost them, they matter to families who’ve lost them. We’re everyday people like everybody else. And we walk around with targets on our backs because of the jobs that we do. But we love our jobs. This truck is dedicated to the people who have lost their lives doing their jobs.”

Stephanie came up with a design using photographs of officers and crime scenes. Each side of the cab portrays images related to the deaths of officers, one from Cold Spring, one from St. Joseph, both in the St. Cloud region. An image on the hood shows Ranger, a service canine who died in action four weeks ago.

The truck has a Cottrell trailer and head rack. Steve Lucy of Roadsknz handled all the stainless work.

Carl Carstens and Austin Mielczarek of Rockwood Products did much of the interior work.

This and other photos from local police departments in Minnesota establish the truck’s theme of honoring officers who’ve given their lives on the job.

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