Herald JournalHerald Journal, August 30, 2004

Conzet excited to be LP’s newest police officer

By Ryan Gueningsman

Lester Prairie’s newest full-time police officer Brenda Conzet has always been one to keep herself busy.

While attending school at North Hennepin Community College in St. Paul, Conzet found herself studying like she had never studied before, in addition to logging many hours with the Buffalo Police Reserve, and working a full-time job as a mall security guard at Ridgedale Mall in Minnetonka.

In addition to these tasks, Conzet also served for the Red Cross in Wright County as a vice chairperson, and assisted in Howard Lake and Albertville when flooding hit those communities.

She began working part-time in Lester Prairie in April. When officer Paul Schermann left the department several weeks ago, Conzet was offered a full-time position.

Conzet said she already enjoys working in Lester Prairie because of the “community service-oriented department” that is here. She also likes it because it is within close proximity of her home in Buffalo. For her on-call time, Conzet said she is planning on getting an apartment in town.

“I grew up in a small town, Maple Lake, which is similar to Lester Prairie,” she said. When Conzet was growing up, she said that Maple Lake had its own police department – with one officer.

“When you have bigger communities, sometimes you start becoming more reactive than proactive,” Conzet said. “In smaller towns, you can be more proactive, and you get to know the people in the community and they get to know you.”

Some of the things Conzet may be working on during her first year on the force include the spring bike rodeo and school crossing guard training.

Conzet said she is grateful to the Buffalo police officers for their assistance with her school work and on-the-job training, as well as former Lester Prairie officer and current Winsted police officer Glen Strom for encouraging her to go to school in the first place.

“The city and the department, as a whole, have made me feel very welcome,” Conzet said. Conzet’s chief, Bob Carlson, also noted that Conzet is the first full-time female officer in a small town in McLeod County, and said that this can be very beneficial in certain situations.

“She is going to be an asset to the department and to the community,” Carlson said. “We’re glad she’s here.”

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