In the Know column: New faces at police department this summer
We collaborated with the Alexandria College Law Enforcement program on the best ways to bring college students interested or enrolled in law enforcement to our agency and provide non-police services to our community.
By Scott Kent, Alexandria police chief
We have been living in a world of supply chain delays, and our summer weather has been no exception to the delay. With mid-June upon us, we are finally starting to see and feel what summer is supposed to be. The past month has been difficult with the two tornadoes, strong winds, and extreme rainfall. Our communities have had front-row seats and ask that we extend grace and empathy to our friends and neighbors who have lost their homes and been displaced. We will have a journey ahead of us in this time of recovery; however, we are strong and will get through this.
We have some new faces at the Alexandria Police Department for the summer. We have started a summer Community Service Officer Internship program. We collaborated with the Alexandria College Law Enforcement program on the best ways to bring college students interested or enrolled in law enforcement to our agency and provide non-police services to our community. The goal is to offer college students valuable work-related experiences and assist our police officers with duties that don’t always need a police officer to handle. These four students wear brightly colored shirts with Community Service on their backs. Issac Peterson, Aalyse Eik, Jordan Slater, and Hank Komrosky will be with us and serving our community until mid-August before returning to school. These four students are outstanding, and we are lucky to have them serving our community this summer.
As a department, we spend significant time with the youth in May. The Safe Communities coalition which consists of Horizons Public Health, North Memorial Ambulance, Life Link air care, Douglas County highway engineer, Alexandria Police Department, Douglas County Sheriff, Minnesota State Patrol, and Alexandria Fire Department, and the students and staff from Alexandria Area High School with the Mock Car Crash event. We have not been able to do this event for the last couple of years; however, this year’s event was very well done and impacted all those who attended. In addition, we were in attendance and assisted with the Alexandria College and Alexandria Area High School graduations.
Officer Shem Baker recently finished the certification to be a Drug Recognition Expert (DRE). He completed his last phase while attending a week-long course in Philadelphia, PA. This training and certification will assist him in identifying drivers who have been using illegal substances while operating motor vehicles. Officer Baker will also be sharing his knowledge with his fellow officers to become more proficient.
We are seeing a steady upward trend in domestic violence, possession of drugs, and drug and alcohol-related traffic crashes and arrests. However, the most alarming component of the movement upward in drug possession is the quantities that we see in the region. Fentanyl is the deadliest drug we see in our communities. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid and is 50 times stronger than heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine. If you have more questions or want more information, please contact me at the Alexandria Police Department at 320-763-6631.
Please remember to exercise empathy towards your friends and neighbors!
Scott Kent is the Alexandria police chief. In the Know is a rotating column written by community leaders from the Douglas County area.