Farewell to blue: Police Sgt. Paul Parthun leaves for Minnesota DNR
After almost 20 years with the Bemidji Police Department, Sgt. Paul Parthun has decided to trade in his blue uniform for a green one. Parthun was accepted to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Conservation Officer Training program in e...
After almost 20 years with the Bemidji Police Department, Sgt. Paul Parthun has decided to trade in his blue uniform for a green one.
Parthun was accepted to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Conservation Officer Training program in early January. On Wednesday afternoon, co-workers and friends gathered at the Law Enforcement Center to say goodbye.
He will begin his conservation officer training in Little Falls Feb. 7.
"It's a great opportunity for me," said Parthun, who is an avid outdoorsman.
"I've got mixed emotions, though," Parthun added before commending Chief Jerry Johnson's leadership. "I have seen some great improvements in the department lately, and I feel a little remorse that I'm not going to be a part of that."
Johnson, who was Parthun's superior during the bulk of his time with the department, said he always hates to lose someone who is at the top of his or her career.
"He's always been a great cop," Johnson said. "And he'll make a great conservation officer."
Johnson joked with Parthun while he presented him with a token of gratitude for his service with the department, noting that he has never been checked by the DNR while spearing in his dark house.
"I'll expect a visit from you someday," Johnson said.
Parthun does not know where his assignment will take him. He will relocate with his wife, Sara, and 3-year-old twins in early fall after completing his field training.
"I went to high school here, college here and I've spent my whole career here so far," Parthun said. "But change is a good thing."
If an opening comes up for a conservation officer, Parthun said he would ultimately like to return to Bemidji.