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Ready to serve: Law enforcement always the career choice for new Blackduck police officer Andrew Jespersen

After being without an official police officer for several months, the Blackduck community has welcomed Officer Andrew Jespersen warmly. Jespersen hails from International Falls, Minn., and worked in the Koochiching County jail before coming acro...

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After being without an official police officer for several months, the Blackduck community has welcomed Officer Andrew Jespersen warmly.

Jespersen hails from International Falls, Minn., and worked in the Koochiching County jail before coming across the job posting for a police officer in Blackduck. For him, law enforcement was an easy career choice.

“My dad was in law enforcement for 27 years so that kind of got me into it,” Jespersen said. “Growing up, it’s kind of the only thing I could see myself doing, you know, watching my dad and his buddies doing it really got me interested.”

Jespersen, 23, has been working in law enforcement for a little more than three and a half years, he said.

“I thought (this job) would be a good opportunity,” he continued. “It’s close to home and I like the area. I’ve got a lot of friends in Bemidji, so it’s the best of both worlds.”

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As far as changes and improvements on the last officers’ work, Jespersen said he just wants people to know “that law enforcement is back in town and things have to change and they’re going to.”

Currently, Jespersen is the only officer working in Blackduck, although interviews for a Chief of Police are in the works. This past summer, after one police officer left to take another job, the Chief of Police, John Wilkinson, was terminated for “conduct unbecoming” an officer. That, effectively, left Blackduck without a police force until Jespersen’s hiring. The Beltrami County Sheriff’s Office helped patrol Blackduck in the interim.

The city has been thoroughly welcoming to its new police officer.

“From what I gather, it seems people are happy to have someone back now,” said Jespersen. “In talking to a lot of people, it seems Blackduck has been a spot for people to work for a while and then move onto something else, but that’s not what I want to do. I want to be here for awhile; I really like the community and I just bought a house in town.”

“The city puts a lot of time and money into hiring a new officer,” he said. “There’s a lot that goes into it and I don’t want to be here for a short amount of time and then they have to go through it again. I feel bad for them if they have to keep going through this over and over again. I’m planning to stick around for awhile.”

Related Topics: BLACKDUCK
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