Hans Link, Coon Rapids Police Department’s newest officer, was sworn into office April 2 by Coon Rapids Mayor Tim Howe.
The swearing in ceremony took place at the Coon Rapids City Council meeting after Link had completed the department’s sixth-month field training program.
Link’s longtime girlfriend, Jill Ryken, pinned his badge on him to conclude the ceremony.
A swearing in ceremony for new police officers and firefighters at Coon Rapids City Council meetings has become a tradition in recent years.
“It is worthwhile that we do this as the relationship a police officer has with our citizens is a significant one, in that is serves as the foundation for our collective sense of safety and security here in Coon Rapids,” said Coon Rapids Police Chief Brad Wise, introducing Link.
Raised in St. Louis Park, Link pursued his first interest in computer programming and software development by working at a computer store.
“It was at this point in his life where he happened to meet someone involved in the St. Louis Park Police Explorer Post which changed everything for Hans,” Wise said.
“He himself became a police explorer and subsequently altered his career goals, choosing instead to become a police officer.”
After graduating from high school, Link attended the law enforcement program at Minnesota State University, Mankato, and graduated magna cum laude, earning a bachelor of science degree in law enforcement.
He later completed police skills coursework through Hennepin Technical College and emergency medical technician basic certification training through the South Central College in Mankato.
To become a Coon Rapids Police officer, Link had to go through a challenging process of tests and interviews, competing against many other talented candidates, according to Wise.
He became a trainee Oct. 29, 2012 and over the past six months, he has been trained and evaluated daily, Wise said.
“This work has ranged from the application of constitutional principles, to detailed knowledge of statutes and ordinances, from understanding our police procedures to emergency driving,” he said.
“He has been learning what it takes to meet the needs of our community.”
The department’s training program is designed to be an extremely stressful process so it can be certain it has hired the right person for the task at hand, according to Wise.
Link’s hiring brings the police department sworn officers to 63 out of the budgeted strength of 64 officers, Wise said.
Peter Bodley is at [email protected]