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City of Hastings introduces officers to the community

People following the City of Hastings Facebook page may have noticed introductions of a very particular group of community members lately. Those individuals have been sharing things like their favorite book, if they like doughnuts or apples, or the last movie they watched. While their interests may vary, they all have one thing in common. They are police officers in the Hastings community.

“It’s kind of an opportunity for the public to get to know the police officers in their community,” said Bryan Schowalter, a patrol sergeant in Hastings. “It’s kind of tough to get to know who the officers are when we show up at a time of crisis or even if it’s not something we were dispatched to.”

The Facebook posts, or what Schowalter said they are calling PD Personalities, were created as a way for the police officers to introduce themselves to the public. Communications Coordinator Lee Stoffel has been trying to post one PD Personality per week.

The concept came up after Schowalter went to the Chief of Police Bryan Schafer about how to introduce themselves to the public. After a meld of ideas between Schowalter, Schafer and Stoffel, they came up with PD Personalities. Other communities have introduced the canine officer through social media and they thought it would be a good idea to introduce the entire department.

Schowalter said they have been getting a good response from the community so far, but he hopes it will eventually create more communication between officers and the public whether it is when they bump into people or when they are called to somewhere in the community.

“(The) big thing is just to let people know we are more than just the uniform and the badge...we have a lot of common interests and goals,” Schowalter said, “also to make people aware or let them become aware of the passion that a lot of officers have.”

To see the PD Personalities, follow the City of Hastings Facebook page.

Michelle Wirth

Michelle Wirth graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire in 2013 with a degree in journalism and web design. She worked as a web content editor for a trade association before coming to the Hastings Star Gazette in 2016.

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