Tell us about yourself.
I am originally from Sauk Centre, MN and moved to Moorhead to attend Minnesota State University-Moorhead. There, I received my bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice. I have worked in law enforcement at the Moorhead Police Department for the past six years. I have held multiple roles including being a DARE Officer and a Field Training Officer. Currently, I am a member of our Peer Assistance Response Team and my current role is as a School Resource Officer. While in college, I met my husband who is also a police officer. We currently live in Moorhead with our two dogs and four children. Fun fact about our family, we had four kids in less than three years due to a surprise set of twins! We currently have a three-year-old, an almost two-year-old and nine-month-old twins. I have been in law enforcement for six and a half years, spending the past two and half years as a school resource officer. In law enforcement, we typically are called to people having some of the worst days of their lives. As a school resource officer, I get to build relationships and interact with students on their good days. It is also extremely important to me to be a good role model for my students.
Who are some people who have been influential in your journey and why?
My mother and I are extremely alike and I feel she is the single most influential person in my world. She set me up to succeed and really showed me what being a strong female and mother is about. I have also had several female coworkers who trained me in my field and really showed me females can do a hard job in a predominately male workforce. They were excellent examples of managing families and shift work and proving that it can be done.
My kids are my biggest motivators. I want to be a good example and role model for them. I also believe that a big part of our purpose in life is to give back to others, and I try to do that in both my work and personal life. My job as a school resource officer has shown me the positive impact we can have on others.
What are some important lessons you have learned in your lifetime?
I have learned that leadership is not about being in charge but taking care of those in your charge. I have learned that we all will have hard times and awful experiences, but what matters most is how we can help others through those times. I have also learned that we cannot be afraid of mistakes and failure—we need to embrace them as learning lessons and maintain a resiliency mindset.
What are some of your favorite things to do in our community?
I have very small kids, so I love all the options for children in our community. We enjoy going to Rustad Recreation Center’s indoor playground, Courts Plus indoor play area, the local libraries and the splash pads and parks in the summer, for example. I also really love the countless options for restaurants for the few date nights my husband and I can sneak away for.
What is your dream job and why?
I love my job and only imagine expanding into other areas within the law enforcement field. I have also always wanted to one day teach law enforcement students because I have always loved learning new things and as a teacher, I feel we are always constantly learning.
What are you hoping to gain from the United Way 35 Under 35 Women’s Leadership Program?
I want to learn more from other local women in many different areas of expertise and with different perspectives. I want to gain more insight into problems, solutions and other resources in our community and ways to be more involved in this community. My job within the community often involves citizens coming to law enforcement with problems. I want to be more aware of different resources and solutions within our community that I can offer citizens. I also want to work on problem-solving and leadership skills to better serve my community. Additionally, I work in a predominantly male workforce and I would like to take this opportunity to connect with local women. I am very passionate about the different perspectives that women can bring to roles in the community.
What do you think can be improved in our community?
Because of my job, I see limited resources in mental and behavioral health providers for juveniles and their families. Our region is lucky to have the many providers we do have; however, I think the need is always there for more. I work with many juveniles who have behavioral and/or mental health concerns. Our goal is to prevent them from reaching the criminal justice system. This typically means they need support from other community resources other than law enforcement, such as mental or behavioral health providers. I would love for all of my students who need these interventions to have access to them, but these resources are already in high demand.
What do you think can be improved in our business community?
I think our region does a good job of supporting local businesses, but I consistently see businesses that are forced to close their doors. The support for locally-owned businesses can always improve. I also want to acknowledge the many local businesses that have donated to the Moorhead Police Department’s Drug Abuse Resistance Education program, which showed their investment in the community’s youth.
What are some of your passions outside of work?
I love to spend time with my family which includes my husband, two dogs, a three-year-old, a two-year-old and 9-monthold twins. They all keep me very busy but in my free time I love to read and walk my dogs. I also occasionally love bad reality television