Lee Sjolander has been the Chief of Police in Kenyon for 14 years and feels it's time to move on to something else.

Sjolander told us during the Kenyon-Wanamingo Area News on KDHL he's been in law enforcement 26 years.  "I've loved it.  It's been an absolute blast but I think it's time for some new adventures."

I asked what the new adventures might be.  His reply, "It'll still be working with people and helping them out but I'm not sure what that is.  My wife thought maybe working in a school in some capacity would be fun.  I loved that.  I was a school resource officer for a number of years.  Besides being Chief that was the most rewarding part of my career."

Sjolander loves kids, "That would be absolutely wonderful.  That would be fun to do.  I want a slower pace.  I know working in a small town a lot of people think that it's one or two calls a day but it's a lot of phone calls.  It's a lot of what we call triaging things.  My phone rings off the hook and I get a lot of questions about what about this and what about that and can you help me with this.  This morning we helped somebody get some gas money which is not a problem of course but it's a lot of activity and I'm thinking a slower pace would be good."

I asked if the civil unrest in the metropolitan area factored into his decision.

Sjolander replied, "No it didn't.  What I will say about that is it makes me sad for our career field.  We've all been painted with a very broad brush and while I understand that and that's kind of human nature, I hear things that happen in other areas and it's just so foreign to me because it's not how it is here."

The outgoing Kenyon Police Chief adds, "We've got good people.  Not that they don't either.  They've all got great people there.  I'm hoping that  good comes of this.  I guess I'm maybe the huge optimist here but I'm thinking that some change is good.  We all need it on both sides.  We need it.  Our public needs it.  All kinds of career fields need it."

Sjolander concluded, "It really didn't factor into it. It just makes me sad to hear these things and  see these things."

Sjolander hopes his last day is August 1, 2021.  He has told city officials he will help the new Chief with the transition.

He wants to spend more time with family.  He has a special needs child who lives in Wanamingo.  A daughter will be student teaching soon and his oldest son lives in Florida.

Sjolander is going to stay in Kenyon saying, "It's a good town.  It grows on you.  I've told people this, when I came here 26 years ago I thought I'd be here maybe a year or two and then move on but the people here are really amazing.  We've got really good folks that have a ton of knowledge.  I learn from them every day.  It's just really, really fun to be here.  I enjoy this town and the people a great deal."

We wish Lee the best in his retirement starting in August.  You can leave a comment on our Facebook or Twitter feeds also wishing him the best.  Maybe share a story or two of how he has assisted in making Kenyon a great place to live and work.

Kenyon Police Station Found Animals Area. Photo by Gordy Kosfeld
Kenyon Police Station Found Animals Area. Photo by Gordy Kosfeld

Who would you add to this list?  Former Minnesota House Speaker Steve Sviggum of Kenyon?

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