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Nikle the new guy: Blackduck Police Department hires second officer

Matthew Nikle has been hired as a full-time patrol officer for the Blackduck Police Department. Photo by Jillian Gandsey.

The Blackduck Police Department will soon have two full-time police officers again.

Matthew Nikle, an East Grand Forks, Minn., native, has been hired by Blackduck Police Chief John Wilkinson as a patrol officer to work mainly in the evenings.

Nikle most recently worked in Ada, Minn., at the Ada Police Department part-time and also was employed part-time with the Norman County Sheriff’s Department.

Nikle said that Ada has a similar feel to Blackduck, even though Blackduck is less than half the size.

“It’s small-town Minnesota, which I mean, I’d rather be in a small town than a big city,” Nikle said. “I love the area, the hunting, fishing and lakes around here.”

Nikle farmed in East Grand Forks until 2007 when they sold their property and he chose to go back to school. He attended Northland Community and Technical College in Thief River Falls, Minn., receiving a degree in criminal justice and law enforcement. Nikle graduated in 2010 and then proceeded to work in security.

From there, he had a stint with the Callaway and Ogema Police Department, located in Becker County, working part-time, which eventually led him to the Ada Police Department.

While in Blackduck, Nikle will provide routine patrol and respond to calls and traffic violations. He will be working with Chief Wilkinson until the beginning of August to become acclimated to the area.

“We have to run through some field training just to get him up to speed how Blackduck does things versus how Ada or Norman County handled paperwork and stuff like that,” Wilkinson said.

Nikle said he looks forward to spending time outdoors with his wife and three-year-old son in the Blackduck area.

“There’s not too many lakes around East Grand Forks so we would usually take him to the pool,” Nikle said. “Now that we’re here we’ll take him to the lake and swim.”

Nikle is replacing Josh Arhart, who turned in his resignation to the City of Blackduck in February.

“I think he’s going to be a great fit for the community,” Chief Wilkinson said. “I think he’ll fit right in.”

Jillian Gandsey

Jillian Gandsey is the Multimedia Editor at the Bemidji Pioneer. She is an Iron Range native and a 2013 graduate of Bemidji State University. Follow Jillian on Twitter and Instagram @jilliangandsey. Contact her at 218-333-9786, 218-996-1216 or at 

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