by Logan Gruber
Alexander Wegner, 22, South St. Paul, is now the newest officer on the Sauk Rapids Police Department starting Oct. 19. If a new hire sounds familiar, it’s because it is. Officer Katy Davis was hired in July, and officer Charlie Swiggum was hired in September.
Wegner said Davis and Swiggum both seem to be very “on the ball.”
“If they’re this confident this early in, hopefully I’ll be as confident just as quickly,” Wegner said in a Newsleader interview.
Wegner should be confident; he came into the SRPD with 420 hours of hands-on experience earned at Alexandria Technical College. He attended Alex Tech for law enforcement and before that attended Minnesota State University-Moorhead for criminal justice and psychology.
“[At Alex Tech] we would mock traffic stops, DWIs, handcuffing and hands-on defensive tactics and training,” Wegner said. “Alex Tech spends a lot of money each year on hiring actors to train with us, so we don’t know what the ‘suspect’ will do . . . They prepared me very well for what I’m going to be doing.”
Wegner was also prepared by multiple members of his family. His father is a member of the Minnesota State Patrol; his uncle, aunt and a cousin are all police officers; and his brother is studying to become a law-enforcement officer.
“It’s always been around me ever since I was a little kid,” Wegner said.
When in college and considering future employment, Wegner wanted to work in the southern half of the state, to be near relatives in the Twin Cities metro area. He said St. Cloud was about as far north as he wanted to be.
“Sauk Rapids is very similar in size, geographically, to South St. Paul, though it’s just about half the population,” Wegner said.
He applied for multiple jobs but says his first application and interview were with Sauk Rapids and they were also his first job offer.
“I’m just excited to start a new career in a new place and start a new chapter in my life,” Wegner added.
He said he hopes to end up on a night shift as they tend to be busier and more exciting. For now he will rotate through day, evening and night shifts during his training.
Wegner said his training is going well and he’s getting along very well with the other officers.
“It’s refreshing . . . They’re taking me under their wing. Today [Oct. 20] I was setting up my duty belt with my gun and everything and I asked officer Lund, ‘Hey, can I take a peek at your belt? What kind of works for you?’ And she was more than happy to help out,” Wegner noted.
He currently lives in St. Cloud across from St. Cloud State University and says he isn’t sure if he will move to Sauk Rapids eventually.
“I like having a drive home to clear my head,” Wegner said.
All-in-all, he is excited to start making a difference in Sauk Rapids.
“Thank you for trusting me,” Wegner said. “I’m excited to be in a new place where people are already so nice to me.”