A day in the life of a Sartell police officer


Hannah Bjelland and Grace Wittmer-George

Kelly Mader smiling in the police station after getting interviewed.

A lot of teenagers think of their hometown police as their enemies. What people don’t realize is that local police officers are the reason everyone is safe.

Sartell police officer Kelly Mader shares his training into becoming a cop, his daily routine, scariest moments, and his experience with teenagers in Sartell.

Mader explains his job: “I’m a Sergeant with the police department, so I supervise the patrol officers that are on duty.”

Officer Mader grew up as a quiet and introverted child in Sartell. “A lot of the people I went to school with are surprised I became a police officer because I was so quiet back then.” When he graduated high school, he went to Minnesota State University –  Mankato to become a cop. He then settled again in Sartell. Mader shares that the most difficult part about becoming a police officer was dealing with the people he knew personally in his hometown. Mader states that he has been an officer since 2001, and this year is going onto his 18th year in Sartell.

A lot of the people I went to school with are surprised I became a police officer because I was so quiet back then.”

— Kelly Mader

When I got hired here, it was three months of field training with an officer.  Being it was my home town, it was running into people that you know and that’s the people that I was dealing with.  That made it harder to try to deal with it the way you should and not let that stuff affect you.”

— Kelly Mader

Officer Mader works 6:30am to 4:30pm every weekday in Sartell. Being he is a supervisor, he doesn’t get to do very many traffic stops or physically respond to calls.

He says, “For me as a supervisor, I’ve got a lot more office stuff when I am in here. I have to go through all the other officer’s reports, approve them, and then I take a lot of other phone calls where people want to talk to supervisors.”

Mader claims the incidents he deals with most are medical emergencies. “Even if the people that call aren’t in need of the police specifically, we go as first respondents to the emergency.”

One of the scariest moments in Mader’s career happened in Sauk Rapids. “Last year, we were up in Sauk Rapids on a call on a male with a gun.  That was probably the closest I got [to discharging a firearm at someone] and I thought I was going to have to shoot someone. For me, that’s scary because I think if you talk to any officer, they don’t want to shoot anyone either.”

I hope that when I retire in nine or ten years I’m going to be able to say I never had to actually pull the trigger. I hope that’s the case.”

— Officer Kelly Mader

Officer Mader also shared what bugs him most about dealing with teenagers.  He responded, “Some of the calls that we get, as juveniles go, are a lot of driving complaints where they’re tearing around the community.  It just seems like we’re bumping into the same kids all the time that are doing it.”

Officer Mader voiced his opinion on the new police department saying how excited he and all the other officers are to be able to transport to the new building in July of 2020.

Officer Mader describes the benefits of the new police station: “I know we’re all excited because this is such a small building now, so it’s going to be nice.  It’s going to make things a lot easier. The technology will be better than what we have now, so overall it’s going to be a good change for everybody.”