Wednesday, September 28, 2022
Staff photo by Rick Bussler Jaxx Swanson gets a thrill of childhood by riding in a Steele County sheriff’s cruiser Thursday afternoon in Owatonna. Sgt. Mike Smith explains all of the gadgets available to deputies in the front seat of the squad, including the computer, siren system, police radio and radar.Staff photo by Kay Fate Blooming Prairie Police Chief Greg Skillestad swears in a couple junior officers, Ryker and Jaxx Swanson, for the department at a recent city council meeting. Joining in the ceremony were Officer Brad Busho, left, and Mayor Curt Esplan (behind Chief Skillestad).Staff photo by Rick Bussler Sheriff Lon Thiele shows off one of his new squads to Swanson brothers, Ryker, left, and Jaxx, Thursday at the Law Enforcement Center in Owatonna. Joining the sheriff by providing squad rides to Ryker and Jaxx were Sgt. Chad Forystek and Sgt. Mike Smith.

Hayfield boys ‘Deputies for a Day’

With eyes on police, young brothers battle eye condition

Two Hayfield brothers are getting an early jump on their dreams of becoming police officers, though their dreams may be just that.

“You’re going to be my deputies for a day,” Steele County Sheriff Lon Thiele told the boys after presenting them with sticker badges and patches. “I remember the first time I got my badge and how gracious I was,” Thiele said.

After the sheriff made his presentation, Jaxx Swanson, 8, and his brother, Ryker, 7, met a couple sergeants from the Steele County Sheriff’s Office. The Swansons soon slipped behind the controls of police cruisers Thursday afternoon with the help of the veteran deputies.

“Just remember my car is cooler,” Sgt. Smith told the boys. Jaxx quickly responded, “I call going with him.”

Once they got a crash course on all the gadgets available inside the squads, the Swansons hit the streets under the watchful eye of the deputies. Sgt. Smith took Jaxx while Sgt. Chad Forystek welcomed Ryker into his police cruiser.

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