By Katie Dahlstrom
When Andrew Petersen went on a ride along with the Clinton Police Department after he graduated from high school, it didn’t scare him away from his goal of being a police officer. It drew him closer.
Monday, Petersen reached a point paramount to his goal: Being sworn in as the newest officer of the Clinton Police Department.
“I grew up seeing police officers and I wanted to be that positive role model in the community,” the 22-year-old Grand Mound resident said.
Petersen is filling the vacancy created when probationary officer Brian Winkel, who was sworn in in August, resigned the same month.
The vacancy originally was created when officer Mike Wirth resigned to join the Clinton County Sheriff’s Office in April.
Petersen earned an associate degree from Kirkwood Community College in December 2012.
Petersen still has a few steps to go before he is on the streets.
After a one- month orientation, he will attend the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy’s basic training school in January and graduate on April 11, 2014.
He will then undergo the Clinton Police Department field training program.
Once he starts as an officer, Petersen will bring the department to its budgeted strength of 40 officers.
Monday at Clinton City Hall, Police Chief Brian Guy introduced Petersen and his family to the other members of the department and the city staff who watched the brief ceremony.
“We make sure that everyone understands that now he’s a part of the Clinton Police Department family, of the city family, and we all stand together,” Guy said. “We’re glad to have Andrew on board.”