Clemenson is Zumbrota's new police officer
By Marilyn Anderson
ZUMBROTA – Since being hired May 15 by the Zumbrota City Council for the open full-time Zumbrota Police Department (ZPD) officer position, Shannon Clemenson has been busy visiting the businesses and meeting the people of the town. The open position was the result of the recent retirement of long time officer Eugene Leifeld.
Clemenson is not a newcomer to Zumbrota or to police work. The former Shannon Harvey of Mazeppa, Clemenson graduated in 2004 from Zumbrota-Mazeppa High School. Though she initially pursued a nursing degree at Winona State University, “it didn’t click like I wanted.” With a college friend’s law enforcement classes interesting Clemenson, she also recalled her future job ranked “among my top six during Ms. Hawbaker’s high school career class.” Clemenson graduated from WSU in 2008 with bachelor of science degrees in criminal justice and corrections.
Clemenson has been a full-time police officer in Kenyon since January 2010. In addition, she has been a part-time ZPD officer since May 2011, helping cover vacations. “Sometimes I’d be here one to three shifts in a month; some months - not at all,” she explained.
After picking up six shifts in May, Clemenson was officially at work on day four on June 3, completing some paper work before heading out on patrol. She said, “It’s been good. Busy. The call load has been bigger than I’ve been use to. Zumbrota is bigger and I worked mainly nights in Kenyon.” One busy time she has experienced was when there were three minor crashes in a two hour period. “I couldn’t believe it,” she said. Clemenson will work primarily nights in Zumbrota after working days throughout the month of June.
Clemenson is excited about the switch to the ZPD. Besides being a bigger town, Zumbrota is also closer to home, family and friends. She and Andrew Clemenson, a native of Zumbrota, were married in 2013.
Child safety seats
When asked about any additional roles or focus she may be taking on with the ZPD, expressed an interest in working on crime prevention, but said, “No way could I be as good as Gene,” acknowledging Gene Leifeld’s longtime emphasis.
Clemenson described her interest and special training on the proper use of child car seats she has received. The five-day training on child safety seats provided the knowledge to assist parents, family members and caregivers to use child restraint systems properly and safely. An example of training she has given was during a “Toward Zero Deaths” traffic safety initiative in Red Wing. She hopes to offer future group opportunities locally.
Clemenson has obtained several child safety seats through a grant. The seats are available to families in need meeting criteria. She also encourages people to contact her with questions or to receive training on the correct use of child seats. While Minnesota state laws require motorists to use car seats for infants and children, not everyone understands the proper use of child restraint systems and seat belts. Call the non-emergency number, 732-5219, and leave a message for Clemenson, if you have a question or to schedule individual training.
The City of Zumbrota Police Department currently consists of the Chief of Police and three patrol officers. In addition to maintaining general public safety in the city, the Police Department coordinates various public safety programs and the annual National Night Out Event.
Current ZPD members are Chief Gary Selness and Officers Rob Jarrett, Gary Schroeder, and Shannon Clemenson.