Sleepy Eye has two rookie police officers, as of August 2016, since Colin Hagert and David Gordon were hired by the city.

Sleepy Eye has two rookie police officers, as of August 2016, since Colin Hagert and David Gordon were hired by the city.

Officer Colin Hagert said that he’s wanted to work in law enforcement since he was a small child. “Everyone wants to be a cop or a firefighter,” Hagert said. “That mind-set just never left me.”

Hagert attended Springfield as a child while growing up in Cobden. He was raised in a predominantly military family, but being an only child made family members apprehensive about him enlisting during the Iraq/Afghanistan conflict.

“Law enforcement has always been a big thing for me, so I still would have done it after the military if I had enlisted,” said Hagert. “I feel like it’s that warrior mindset.”

For young people interested in a career in law enforcement, Hagert said, “Stick with it if it is truely something you want. Do ride alongs, learn about it, do whatever you can to make sure it’s what you want to do.”

Hagert believes that a high amount of integrity already being inside a person is a necessity to becoming a successful and respected officer. “If you choose this life, you will live under a microscope and people will watch what you do to make sure you’re not a hypocrite,” he said.

Advancements in technology have greatly improved the Sleepy Eye Police Department’s ability to enforce laws and protect and serve the community. The police vehicles were recently upgraded with computers to assist officers—placing information a click away. “It’s nice to be able to look up someone’s information instead of having to radio it in and wait to hear back,” Hagert said. “People we stop also like being able to go on their way more quickly. Technology is great if it plays a role, just like in everyone’s life. If we can get information quicker, we can make more practical decisions in different situations.”

Hagert enjoys spending time on the streets, patrolling and interacting with the community. The way the local unit is set up, many of the patrolmen, like Hagert, get involved with investigating and interviewing. “We are our own secretaries,” Hagert said. “We do our own paperwork, and it helps us know more about the ins and outs of the job.”

Hagert loves every aspect of his job and believes helping people can be one of the most rewarding things you get to do in life. He hopes to stay on in Sleepy Eye for as long as possible. “This is home,” he said.

In a bit of fun, Hagert was asked if the stereotype of cops liking donuts is true. He replied, “I don’t know anyone who doesn’t enjoy a good donut.”