News from the Chief: Introducing two new police officers

Matt Andres, Chief of Police, City of Sleepy Eye
Special to the Herald-Dispatch

I didn’t have an article last month so this may be old news. Officer Mike Gordon has left the department. Mike and his family moved to Becker. Mike took a job with the Becker Police Department. While I will miss Mike, the world moved on and the SEPD looked to hire his replacement. That is easier said than done in current times. The world view on police officers has degraded and we are not always seen as assets and protectors. I believe this is mainly a large city feeling and gets far more credence that it should because of social media.

I have said it before, but the Sleepy Eye Police Department is strongly supported in this community. I do want to thank the many community members that support our efforts and go out of their way to show their support.

Even though we are supported the consensus is that Law Enforcement is not a good job to have right now and I can’t blame people for thinking that way. It has shown itself in the enrollment of future police officers in all Law Enforcement schools. I have been hearing about the low numbers of student and therefore the low number of applicants for open jobs for a couple of years. With Mike leaving I experienced this firsthand. There are very few people to replace officers that leave or retire. Departments, especially larger departments, have many openings to fill with very few people to fill them. Those departments have become almost predatory in their pursuit to fill those openings. Departments are looking to find current good officers and are giving them many incentives to switch to their department. While I was sorry to see Mike go, I understand the reasons he had for leaving.

The Sleepy Eye Police Department and the City of Sleepy Eye have hired two officers to replace Mike. This is a unique way to deal with a position opening, but one that will work out well for everyone. The two officers are now half-time officers. They are splitting the hours they work and the benefits they receive. This will not cost the city any money but will allow us to move forward as a complete department. The two officers have each been a police officer for multiple years. They currently work for the Morgan Police Department and will split their time between Sleepy Eye and Morgan. Taylor Bolinger and Issac Froehlich are the names of the two new half-time officers. Both are in their last week of training with us and it has gone well. I like that these two have filled this one role and I know that City is going to benefit with Taylor and Issac as officers.