New liason officer assigned to Paynesville schools

This article submitted by Linda Stelling on 11/24/98.

Lynn Jensen, Stearns County deputy, started her new assignment on Nov. 9 as the new liaison officer at the Paynesville Area High School and Middle School.

Officer Dan Winkels was promoted to sergeant and has been assigned elsewhere.

The school liaison officer program was started in Stearns County in 1996 with funding through a federal cops grant.

Jensen is working with the schools in Paynesville and Holdingford. This year another liaison officer, Joe Lichy, has been assigned to work in Kimball and Melrose, according to Stearns County Sheriff Jim Kostreba.

Jensen has been an officer in Stearns County 12 years and prior to that worked in the Hennepin County Detention Office.

A native of Alexandria, Jensen has a four-year degree from St. Cloud State University in criminal justice. Her grandfather and uncle were also police officers.

ďIím looking forward to working with the students in the schools. My hours will be flexible,Ē Officer Jensen said.

ďThis will be a new assignment for me and I like the idea of being able to make a difference in someoneís life,Ē she added.

ďWorking in law enforcement offers me variety on the job. No two days are ever alike. I hope to be able to build a good relationship with the students and present a positive image to the students. Most students see law enforcement officers as negative images.Ē

The liaison officer is also available, whenever possible, to the school staff and parents.

The liaison officer will be accessible to victims of crime so that they may report an incident without fear of retaliation.

The liaison officer is expected to become proactive in school functions and extracurricular activities by involving themselves whenever possible with parents, students and faculty in a social setting.

The liaison officer will also be making classroom presentations on various criminal subjects at the request of the faculty or student groups.

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