Thompson no sooner posed for photos then he spied Alice Bot in need of his help outside a local business.

Safety officer gets chance to help on first day

New Minneota bike and community safety officer Austin Thompson, on his first day on the job, got a chance to help! No sooner had he posed for a “photo” shoot for the Mascot, then he came across a woman who needed his help getting up.

“That’s what it’s all about,” smiled Police Chief Bill Bolt. Thompson became the new Intern with the Minneota Police Department last week and will spend his time getting, “On the job training,” from Chief Bolt.

He recently completed his first year of a two year program in Worthington where he is preparing to become a Licensed Police Officer. Austin graduated from the Minneota High School in 2017 and has been a resident of Minneota his entire life.

Chief Bolt indicated he, too, used a similar program when he was getting his start as a police officer.

“Austin's role with the Minneota Police Department will be as a bike and community safety officer. His primary duties include improving bike safety with children, monitoring of parks and walking trail along with helping out whenever and wherever he can,” said Chief Bolt.

And it certainly didn’t take him long to use his new job to help out.

According to Chief Bolt, Austin's position was made possible thanks to the SW MN Private Industry Council based out of the Marshall Workforce Center.

The chief said, “The organization promotes and supports programs that provide meaningful work experience for young people.”

Eriann Faris is the Youth Program manager with the Private Industry Council and was able to get this program going.

The Industry Council pays for his wages and uniform and a portion of the bike.

“Thanks to them we will have wonderful service for 240 hours this summer. If you see Austin out and about, feel free to wave him down and talk with him,” said Chief Bolt.

Austin Thompson. Staff photo by Byron Higgin.

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