Growing up in North Dakota, Galen Heinle never planned on becoming a law enforcement officer. After high school he farmed and worked as a welder. He and his wife eventually moved to Mantorville and he met his neighbor, a State Trooper.
"I did a few ride-alongs with him and I really enjoyed it." It was on one of those ride-alongs that Heinle met Claremont Police Chief Jim Randal who said he was looking for a part-time officer.
Heinle took the job and went back to school. At the same time he also worked as a custodian at the Fairview Nursing Home. It took Heinle four years to earn his two-year degree.
"The city council and police chief would always bend over backwards to help me," he said. "They understood that I would be a little late for my night shifts because I had to go to school first."
In 1994 Claremont disbanded their police department and Heinle joined the Dodge County Sheriff's Office. "My favorite part of my career was always working with the other officers," he explained. "There was always someone there to back you up when you needed it."
Over the course of his 28-year career in law enforcement Heinle saw a lot of changes throughout the county.
Read the rest of the story in the print edition of the Star Herald.