Cloquet City Hall was a joyful place Wednesday, Aug. 8, as friends, family and co-workers gathered in the Council Chambers for two police ceremonies during the regular City Council meeting.
Sixth District Carlton County Judge Leslie Beiers swore in four new Cloquet Police Department officers.
"You know you come to policing at a challenging time," Beiers told them after noting that weddings, adoptions and swearing in new police officers are some of the wonderful parts of being a judge. "You'll have many challenges, but you'll also have many rewards in this career. I want to wish you a long and safe and fulfilling career as police officers serving our community."
New officers include:
• Brett Reinsch - A Duluth East graduate, Reinsch has a law enforcement degree from Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College. After graduating, Reinsch worked for the Minnesota Department of Corrections from 2011 until he was hired by the CPD in August 2017.
• Larry Sherk - An International Falls High School graduate, Sherk received his law enforcement degree from Hibbing Community College. He worked as a police officer in Watford City, N.D., from 2014 until he was hired by CPD in October 2017.
• Ben LaFave - LaFave graduated from Roosevelt High School and got his law enforcement degree from FDLTCC. LaFave worked for the Fond du Lac Police Department from 2014 until he was hired by CPD in June 2018.
• Zack Sandstrom - Sandstrom graduated from Hermantown High School and received a criminal justice degree from the University of Minnesota Duluth. He then got his law enforcement certificate from FDLTCC. He worked for the Hibbing Police Department from 2016 until he was hired by CPD in June 2018.
Also Wednesday, Cloquet City Councilors unanimously approved the promotion of two veteran Cloquet police officers, Adam Reed and Corey Schneberger, to the position of sergeant.
Police Chief Jeff Palmer explained that the CPD budgeted for four sergeant positions, but two have been vacant since Palmer was promoted to police chief in October and Scott Holman was reassigned to the detective division last year.
Palmer said the department established a sergeant eligibility list by considering a background and experience rating evaluation, Police Career Index written exam and an oral interview conducted by law enforcement personnel and members of the Citizens Advisory Board - a three-member volunteer committee appointed by the council to help with hiring, complaints and disciplinary procedures as well as seniority.
The two new sergeants were ranked the top two of five eligible candidates, Palmer said.
The police chief noted that Schneberger has worked for the CPD since 1997, while Reed was hired in 2004. Both men are Cloquet High School graduates and received their law enforcement degrees from FDLTCC.
The promotions were approved unanimously by the council and greeted with applause from the audience.