Officer Kyle Jones was added to the St. James Police Department early this March. Jones is 23 and a graduate of North Hennepin Community College in Brooklyn Park.
He graduated in December of 2011 and has been working as a custom cabinet maker in Becker, near his hometown in Big Lake, while searching for a job in law enforcement. He was excited for the opportunity to work in St. James because of the small town atmosphere.
“I like the smaller town, I don't like the hustle and bustle of the metro area,” said Jones. “I like seeing fields rather than developments beyond developments.”
Jones is a hunter and an avid motorcycle rider. He spoke about learning how to pheasant hunt and taking his bike out to explore the area when the weather improves. He and his fiancee are currently renting a town home in St. James.
Jones has been working both day and afternoon shifts for the police department since March 5. Beginning any new job has its challenges, but Jones seems to be handling his new employment well.
“It's a lot of information, so it can be a little overwhelming, but so far everyone that I've been around has been extremely helpful,” said Jones. “Not even just the police department, but city hall, people have just been really good.”
Officers in the police department work a ten week schedule, rotating between day, afternoon and night shifts. Jones described the schedule and said he was looking forward to learning the routine.
Although this is his first job in law enforcement, Jones said he is here to stay. He and his fiancee – who is still looking for work, and has experience in dental assistance and as a waitress – love the area and the people. They like the feeling of support they get from the community, and that the community gets from its members.
“I like the fact that the grocery stores and things like that are locally owned,” said Jones. “Walmart is convenient, but I like that when you give your money to the grocery store here, it goes to someone who lives somewhere around here.”
Jones is a vital addition to the police department, who have a few officers getting near retirement, and have had one officer retire even this year.