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Friday, January 13, 2012

New Staff

We welcomed our new staff yesterday during a ceremony at the DECC.
It is always interesting to meet their families and talk with them about their loved one's future in our department.  The 14 recruits are finishing up their 12 week academy and will begin their field training soon.  After four months of field training they will be working solo preventing and solving crime. 

Mark Stodghill with the News Tribune wrote a nice article on the new staff.

 I also pasted it below...

Chase Landingin didn’t have a badge pinned on his chest with the 14 new Duluth police officers sworn in Thursday at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center, but he has the satisfaction of knowing he’s assuming an important role in the Police Department.

Landingin, 26, who was born and raised in San Diego, moved to Duluth earlier this month to fill one of three criminal intelligence analyst positions in the Police Department. It’s a civilian position.

His job will be to study crime and crime patterns and profile suspects by analyzing crime data to forecast times and locations the next crime will be attempted. For example, do certain crimes take place at specific times in certain neighborhoods? Can suspects, based on their record or address, be connected to certain crimes? Are there criminal connections between suspects? With that information, police can decide how best to allocate resources and station officers.

“I’m very motivated,” Landingin said. “I accept any kind of a challenge, no matter how hard or how easy it is. I’ll just take it head on and I’m very open-minded.”

Langingin has a bachelor’s degree in criminology from the University of California-Irvine and criminal analyst certification from the University of California-Riverside.

“He’s a very positive young man,’’ said Lt. Steve Stracek, supervisor of the Duluth police Organized Crime Bureau. “He’s quiet and soft-spoken, but he’s got some grit. He’s got some ambition. We like him and we’ve got a lot of expectations that he’ll do well.”

Stracek said about 20 people from around the country applied for the position.
“Right now our criminal intelligence analysts are taking phone records and linking this drug dealer with that drug dealer,” Stracek said. “They help us establish associations, past criminal histories and participation in gang activities in other jurisdictions before they came here. They are able to link phone numbers with specific targets. We’re also looking at neighborhood crime trends and citywide crime trends.

The criminal intelligence analysts bring calls of services, known offenders, crimes of violence to our attention and we can spread the intelligence around to the troops.”

Before introducing Landingin, Duluth police Chief Gordon Ramsay told the new officers and their families that this is a city that supports its police as evidenced by the soon-to-be-completed new police headquarters on Arlington Road, and by the fact that the department has been able to hire 18 new officers in the past year to reach its authorized force of 152.

Ramsay also told the newest rookie class that they shouldn’t do anything to tarnish the good reputation that their co-workers have established in the community.

The new officers include Kalika Pukema, whose father, Dick, is a retired Superior police officer and former Douglas County sheriff. Her father pinned on her badge. The new officers chose parents, wives, fiancées and children to do the honors of pinning on their badges.

Sixth Judicial District Judge Shaun Floerke, who is the son of a retired Wisconsin deputy sheriff and the grandson of a former Wisconsin chief of police, swore in the new officers.

The 14 officers joining the force are:

  • Eli Anderson, grew up in Cherry. Has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota Duluth. His grandfather spent 30 years in the St. Paul Police Department.

  • Morgan Cekalla, grew up in Little Falls, Minn. Has a bachelor’s degree from UMD and completed his law enforcement training at Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College, where he graduated with a 4.0 grade point average.

  • Ian Johnson, grew up in Prescott, Wis. He attended the University of Wisconsin-Superior and Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College.

  • Carla Josephson, grew up in Hermantown. Has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Superior. She has three years’ experience as a Pine County sheriff’s deputy.

  • Trevor Kaldor, grew up in Duluth. He completed the law enforcement program at Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College.

  • Bob LeClaire, grew up in Lakeville, Minn. He has a bachelor’s degree

  • Brent Mathison, grew up in Duluth. He has a bachelor’s degree from UMD. His great-grandfather was a Minnesota State Patrol trooper.

  • Daniel Merseth, grew up in California. His father and uncle were police officers.

  • Kalika Pukema, grew up in Lakeside, Wis. She served 10 years with the Air National Guard and graduated with high honors from Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College.

  • Robert Schmidt, grew up in Detroit Lakes, Minn. He has a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Minnesota. He spent six years in the Army National Guard and was deployed to Iraq in 2007.

  • Todd Simmons, grew up in Minnesota, Iowa and Idaho, where he graduated from high school. He has 17 years of military police experience with the Army and was deployed five times to Iraq and Afghanistan. He spent six years as a deputy sheriff in Reno, Nev., before coming to Duluth.

  • Ashley Thurmes, grew up in Rosemount, Minn. She graduated summa cum laude from Minnesota State University-Mankato in 2011 with a degree in law enforcement. Her father, Curt, is a sergeant with the Minnesota State Patrol.

  • Zach Trieschmann, grew up in Two Harbors. He completed the law enforcement program at Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College.

  • Larry Westerman, grew up in Grafton, W.Va. He attended the Community College of the Air Force/Marshall University, the West Virginia State Police Academy and the North Dakota Peace Officer Training Academy. He served as a security police officer in the Air Force and with the Kingwood, W.Va.; Fairmont, W.Va.; and Bismarck, N.D., police departments.

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    2. Welcome new recruits and enjoy your time with a very well run police department! Thank you all officers for all that you do!