Why work in city government, specifically in Alexandria?
What’s not to love about living and working in Alexandria?!! I never looked at my career as working for city government – I just wanted to be in a position to help people. Now that I’ve, ahem matured, I love that I work for THIS city government that is full of forward thinking, progressive, compassionate people that are proud of our community and it shows. To be part of a city that values their employees and their input pays many dividends now and in the future. I just recently heard about a post that a larger city is hiring for their PD and no one wants to go work there, and worse yet, they were lambasted on social media. That is definitely not the case here.
Share a memory of a time you felt proud to be in local government.
I can’t think of one moment that stands out. I have a lot of daily, little things that make me proud to be a part of this government and it always has to do with the people who make up this group. I’m very proud of our police department and the men and women who get up everyday and come to work with a smile on their face and a good attitude. I love when I’m out trick or treating with my kids and see the officers patrolling the neighborhoods and handing out candy, or when the guys are intentional about stopping at every lemonade stand they can find, or when the officers showed up to the kids birthday party that sent an invite to our PD, or when a baby duck is found wandering alone and a big burly officer takes it home to raise it. We love being able to do this kind of stuff. But I also see it in then not so fun things too. It’s when we respond to those calls that are difficult, from sad to life threatening, the whole gamut. It’s in the hand of your partner on your back afterwards asking how you are doing, it’s the phone calls from your boss checking in to see how you are, it’s the co-workers who seek you out later after hearing about it to check in on you. I guess now I can think of a time where I look back and know how proud I am of this family. When we lost one of our own (Pat Callaghan in 2010) in a snowmobiling accident. I will never forget the hours and days following that terrible tragedy. From those who gathered outside of ER, arms around each other watching life link taking off with him and not a single one of us moving until the helicopter was no longer visible, and then how everyone poured into the police department during those dark early morning hours after the news that he didn’t make it just to all be together, to the hugs, tears, and memories shared in the days that followed. And the thoughtfulness years later when a new police department was built, a tree was planted in his name to remember him and keep his memory alive.
What are your goals for this year?
One of my personal goals this year is to SIMPLIFY. I’m purging stuff and have to say it feels great! I’ve found the less stuff I have the more time I have. And the better I feel. Another goal is I’m trying to be more intentional with my time and how I’m spending it. If I’m doing something with one of my daughters, like playing a game, she is going to get all my attention at that time and I’m not going to get distracted by my phone.
What are your hobbies?
Uuhmm hobbies what are those? Ha – with two active little ones at home mom’s hobbies get pushed aside a little. I do love to work out – ok so I love I how feel AFTER I workout not always during, reading, going on runs with my dogs, campering (Campering is camping but in a camper – yes I’m high maintenance that way), fishing, downhill skiing, swimming, snowmobiling, sledding with my kiddos, and most anything that lets me enjoy the great outdoors. I’ve also recently discovered I like to sew…getting so domesticated I am!
Tell us about your family and yourself.
I’m originally from Brainerd MN. I’m the third of 4 siblings – all girls – my poor father I know. My father retired from the Crow Wing County Sheriff’s Office with 32 years of service under his belt. The reason I’m doing what I’m doing is directly because of him. I’m the 3rd generation in my family to be in law enforcement as my dad’s uncle was a deputy as well. One of my nephews is talking about becoming a law enforcement officer. My husband, Brad, and I continued with the girl theme as we have our 2 “little girls” together and he has 2 older daughters (the big girls) from his first marriage. The oldest Larissa, is 26 and working at Pike and Pint and Apols HD. Taylor is next, she is 22. She is currently our nanny for our little ones – we are so blessed to have her. It makes being a working momma much easier! Then Lybbie is 6. She is in kindergarten at Zion. She found a love for ice-skating this year and has been able to do that as of last week (thank you MN weather!). Lainey is our 4 year old and in preschool at First Lutheran. This was her first year going and I started her at 2 days a week, but she quickly informed me that she was going more so she’s 3 days a week. Brad is the Chief Deputy for Douglas County and coming up on his 30 year anniversary. This June will mark 18 years for me at the PD. In my job I tend to run into some homeless critters and seem to provide them my home, though I’ve finally reached my limit with 6 cats, yes 6 and no I’m not the crazy cat lady. I was fine with 3 when my husband said we would keep the 2 stray kittens I was actively looking for a SEPARATE home for (Honest I was. I had already rehomed 2 of their siblings). Yes if you do the math that makes 5. Then we had another stray that was wild hanging out on our property for years and got cornered by our main entrance one day and I had to make friends with it to get my other cat inside. Well…..we made such good friends that once he got a taste of the good life he wasn’t leaving (he happens to be my favorite now ironically). He unfortunately had to trade a very significant part of himself to be able to stay in our house – he seems to have healed completely after his neutering visit to the vet. We also have our 2 German Shephard puppies that will be a year this May. My husband just asked me the other day what we were going to do for their first birthday – just re-affirming I’m not the crazy animal person here! My answer is a dog treat and a pat on the head….stay tuned to Facebook in May I guess to see! Then we mustn’t forget about our 6 fish. If I were to fill this out again in about 5 years I’m confident there will probably more and bigger animals at the Lake Homestead. My husband talks of owning horses when he retires.
There are a lot of acronyms in government, explain ones that come behind your name or that you use in your work.
Sgt. (Sergeant) This is the only acronym associated with my work. I was promoted to Sgt in July of 2007. It was always my aspiration to be a road sergeant and that is what I’m doing! A sergeant is a front line supervisor that supervises the activities of the officers and reports to the Capt and Chief with some administrative duties.
Where is your favorite place to go to enjoy Alexandria? (restaurants, parks, activities/exercising, etc.)
I have many places I enjoy going. I love going out to eat with my family and friends. A common place we seem to choose is DJs Taphouse. Love their Thai Salad!! Also love the wings at D Michael Bs, the shrimp fettucine at Doolittles, the sesame chicken from Great Hunan’s is second to none, the Depot and as of recently Angelinas as they have added to their menu. Then of course it’s the caramel frappe’s from McDonalds and the turtle mochas from Caribou. It goes without saying that DQ makes the list, too. (Maybe I should have listed eating as one of my hobbies? ?) Last year I think we started a tradition of riding bikes on the Central Lakes Trail and stopping to eat at the new deck bar at the Depot. It was a beautiful summer night overlooking Lake Agnes. As a family we love to go bowling, to Casey’s Amusement Park, to the movies, and oddly enough Walmart is my 6 year old’s favorite place to go because I usually let them go a couple rounds on the claw machine. Needless to say she’s been asking for her very own claw machine. I also LOVE our 2 consignment shops, Narlies and Krupkes. They have been getting most of my purged items and I might find something there too that comes home with me. As long as I’m dropping off more than I’m taking I’m good – yes simplifying is a process. My kids enjoy all the different parks around here, too. Noonan’s and City Park are frequented and they love to bike the trail to City Park and top it off with a DQ for the ride back. The Downtown shops are great and I love the redesigned Creative Touch Boutique and the change of clothing style. I actually hadn’t been to the store in years until a recent trip during my Leadership Alexandria class. I also learned about the beading store (Potomac Bead Company)we have and plan on bringing my girls there to make something.
by Sara Stadtherr
Sara is the Communications Coordinator for the city of Alexandria. She is committed to the residents of Alexandria. Feel free to reach out to her for any reason, she would be happy to hear from you. To contact Sara, please email [email protected] or call 320-759-3607.
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