School Resource Officer
The aim of the School Resource Officer Program is to continue and enhance the cooperative effort between the Police Department and the school district, focusing on the reduction of juvenile crime and delinquency in the schools and the community. This partnership will provide for shared solutions to common concerns. The program is proactive in its objectives and seeks to establish positive relationships between the students and police.
Officer Ted Herman is assigned to the high school. He works closely with the students and staff to ensure a safe learning environment. Officer Herman develops at least one large assembly type educational program and several smaller programs for the school district. He works closely with other supportive agencies to deliver the best service to the students, especially those most in need.
The Albert Lea Police Department established their Bike Patrol unit in 1998. The Bike Patrol unit is highly visible and accessible to the community, day or night, seven days a week, throughout all of Albert Lea. The Bike Patrol unit is comprised of P.O.S.T. licensed and specially trained Police Officers, under the continued professional development and command of Lt. Darren Hanson, Police Cyclist Instructor.
Community Service Officers
The Community Service Officer (CSO) is a non-sworn officer position. Community Service Officers are responsible for parking enforcement, animal control, maintenance and coordination of the evidence room for the City of Albert Lea Police Department and Freeborn County Sheriff’s Office, as well as safety training and other programs. The CSO position was created as part of the Albert Lea Police Department’s Community Policing Program.
The evidence room is staffed by Officer Jason Taylor and Community Service Officer Mary Schroader. Evidence room staff is responsible for the proper intake, inventory, release, and disposal of evidence and other property. The Albert Lea Police department holds auctions to purge items no longer needed as evidence or where an owner cannot be located. Illegal or unsafe items such as drugs and weapons are destroyed. Auctions are advertised locally in advance.
Field Training Officer
The link between the police academy graduate and the new patrol officer is the Field Training Officer (FTO). FTOs are veteran officers within the department who, in addition to their regular patrol duties, groom and mold probationers into competent police officers.
The FTOs must complete specialized training prior to training probationers. They guide probationers through the 15-week field-training program after their completion of academia and skills training. FTOs conduct training in day-to-day skills and carefully analyze the probationer’s progress. In addition, they teach probationers about such things as traffic stops, interviews, officer survival, report writing, emergency response/pursuit driving, and geography of the city. This list does not give credit to the wide range of training FTOs cover with probationers.
Lieutenant Darren Hanson supervises the Albert Lea Police Department’s Field Training unit comprised of Officer Jason Taylor, Sgt. Tim Harves, Officer Jacob Stockwell, Officer Adam Hamberg, and Sgt. Stephen Charboneau.
Special Weapons and Tactics
On June 23, 1987, the City of Albert Lea Police Department combined resources to form a larger multi agency regional emergency response team. The unit became operational January 1, 1988. As of 2001 the emergency response team became known as the South Central Drug Investigative Unit Tactical Team (S.C.D.I.U. Tactical Team). Albert Lea Police Department’s Special Weapons and Tactics (S.W.A.T.) Team officers compliment the S.C.D.I.U. Tactical Team.
The safety and preservation of all human life is the team’s primary goal. The Albert Lea Police Department’s S.W.A.T. Team accomplishes this goal by acting as a law enforcement support unit, which is specially trained and equipped to resolve critical high-risk situations. Containment of suspects and negotiation procedures are the team’s first responsibilities. The S.W.A.T. Team is comprised of licensed and specially trained police officers, under the continued professional development and command of Lt. Darin Palmer.