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Schowalter named police commander

Bryan Schowalter was selected for the police commander position at the Hastings Police Department. Submitted photo

Bryan Schowalter has recently been named the new police commander of the Hastings Police Department effective July 3.

Schowalter has served with the department for 11 years in several areas including service as a patrol officer, drug task force investigator, drug task force sergeant/team leader and currently as a night patrol sergeant.

Police Chief Bryan Schafer said that Schowalter has demonstrated integrity, professionalism, a drive for excellence and continuous desire to learn.

"I am confident that he will succeed in his new role and take us to the next level in professional policing," Schafer said.

Schowalter said that it is an exciting time at the department. He said that it is a wonderful feeling to be selected as police commander and will be a good opportunity to have a hands-on approach.

Schowalter has had several positions within the department since he began in 2006. One of the highlights was when he worked on assignment with the Dakota County drug task force. It was a rare opportunity for him to not only be involved in the county but also the Twin Cities.

"It was exciting, interesting, very educational, so I think that by far would be my highlight," he said.

In 2009, Schowalter also had the opportunity to become a drug recognition expert. He focused on driving under the influence when impairment was something other than alcohol, he said. It was a challenging experience, but something he said that he enjoyed doing. He became a firearms instructor in 2011 and has had the opportunity to train other officers.

Schowalter earned his associate's degree in 2004, his bachelor's degree in 2013 and a master's degree in criminal justice leadership in 2015. The education he received has broadened his resource pool and network, he said. He attributes his ability to research things a little differently to his education as well as his broadened perspective on what his role in law enforcement is and will be in the future.

With all the roles and experiences he has had, Schowalter said that he will be able to share insight and bring new ideas on how the department can evolve.

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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